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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 907172, 5 pages
Research Article

An Examination of Palliative or End-of-Life Care Education in Introductory Nursing Programs across Canada

1Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G3
2Faculty of Nursing, Helen Glass Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MN, Canada R3T 2N2

Received 1 June 2011; Accepted 11 August 2011

Academic Editor: Amy Calvin

Copyright © 2011 Donna M. Wilson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An investigation was done to assess for and describe the end-of-life education provided in Canadian nursing programs to prepare students for practice. All 35 university nursing schools/faculties were surveyed in 2004; 29 (82.9%) responded. At that time, all but one routinely provided this education, with that school developing a course (implemented the next year). As compared to past surveys, this survey revealed more class time, practicum hours, and topics covered, with this content and experiences deliberately planned and placed in curriculums. A check in 2010 revealed that all of these schools were providing death education similar to that described in 2004. These findings indicate that nurse educators recognize the need for all nurses to be prepared to care for dying persons and their families. Regardless, more needs to be done to ensure novice nurses feel capable of providing end-of-life care. Death education developments will be needed as deaths increase with population aging.