Promoting Excellence in Palliative and End-of-Life Care

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AACN created Promoting Excellence in Palliative and End-of-Life Care to address one of the toughest issues critical care nurses face every day: dealing effectively with patients and their family members at the most difficult times in their lives. This 3½-hour course is based on the AACN Protocols for Practice as well as other evidence-based resources. It uses simulated patient environment scenarios to engage learners, challenge their thinking and provide immediate feedback on application of skills. Whether you are responsible for the effectiveness of a team, or looking to increase your individual palliative skills, this course has much to offer.

  • Covers clinical scenarios across the lifespan – pediatrics to geriatrics – integrating palliative care throughout the continuum of care.
  • Uses research-based protocols and true-to-life case studies to make the material easy to understand and quickly integrate into clinical practice.
  • Sharpens palliative care assessment and intervention skills.
  • Increases proficiency in communicating with patients and families from curative phases on through end-of-life care decisions.
  • Teaches how to effectively facilitate decision-making during end-of-life care. 
  • Gives proven techniques for lowering personal stress levels, making nurses better able to provide optimal patient care.

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Content Overview

This groundbreaking course is designed to provide opportunities for nurses to apply theory-based practices in virtual real-world interactive scenarios. Using a virtual environment to move through three modules, the program simulates the experience of being in the room with patients and their family members. By accurately conveying the complexity of symptom management and the proper palliative care in a variety of situations, the course allows nurses to practice different approaches without affecting real patients and families.

This easy-to-navigate course even presents recommendations on how to lower stress levels and provides a Self-Care Meter to help the learner care for personal needs.

Download the Palliative and End-of-Life Care Brochure (PDF)

View full Table of Contents

Course Learning Objectives

After completing this course, learners will be able to identify and demonstrate:

  1. Appropriate assessment and interventions to alleviate patient: pain, dyspnea, anxiety and delirium.
  2. Improved ability to facilitate decision making with patients, family and surrogates.
  3. Communication and conflict resolution skills for addressing common end-of-life issues with patients and family.
  4. Validated methods to more fully support patients and families through the end-of-life experience.
  5. Techniques for lowering their own stress levels.

Related Resources

  • AACN Protocols for Practice: Palliative Care and End-of-Life Issues in Critical Care (#170900)
  • To Comfort Always: A Nurse’s Guide to End-of-Life Care (#140329)
  • Palliative Care: Core Skills and Clinical Competencies, 2nd Ed. (#140328)
  • End-of-Life Care A Practical Guide, 2nd Ed. (#140335)
  • Please access additional bookstore resources
  • View more palliative information here

Free Resource

The 4 A’s to Rise Above Moral Distress (free download)


Subject Matter Experts:

Laura J. McNamara, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, Clinical Practice Specialist

Linda Bell, RN, MSN, Clinical Practice SpecialistCourse Writer: Jan Farquhar



Technical Requirements