Recognising learning needs 

Providing nursing care for those with a life limiting illness and their family can be a very challenging and rewarding for both enrolled and registered nursing students. Given the extensive curriculum taught for enrolled and registered nurses at the undergraduate level, many only receive a small amount of formal education about palliative and end-of-life care. Therefore it is important for those already practicing to nurture and teach those who will potentially be providing palliative care in the future; palliative nursing should be promoted as a rewarding and positive career move.

As many nurses have responsibilities for undergraduates in their area of work. It is also important to recognise undergraduate nursing students may come from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and experiences. Encountering terminal illness, death and care of the deceased person may prove challenging for this group. Debriefing and reflective practice should be encouraged to promote the positive role nursing plays in palliative, end-of-life and after death care.

Last updated 04 October 2022