• Lack of education in providing end-of-life care is an obstacle to nurses and other health care professionals as they strive to deliver palliative care.

  • Education regarding pain and symptom management, communication strategies, care at the end of life, ethics, and other aspects of palliative care is urgently needed.

  • This article describes implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive statewide effort to improve end-of-life care education for California nurses as an example of change at the state level.

In a 2004 study, researchers found that almost 20% of American deaths occur in a critical care setting or shortly after a critical care stay. Historically, the focus of critical care has been primarily on curative therapies, and death has been viewed as failure. Now, awareness of the need to integrate palliative care in critical care settings has increased. The challenges to providing quality end-of-life...

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