Person-centred end-of-life curriculum design in adult pre-registration undergraduate nurse education: a three-year longitudinal evaluation study

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Background: The need to provide quality end-of-life care is universally accepted. International research and policies encourage innovative ways that effective culturally appropriate care can be provided. Higher education institutions and practice settings are tasked with ensuring that nurse graduates have the knowledge, skills and insight to deliver person-centred end-of-life care. Research aims and objectives: The aim was to explore student evaluation of end-of-life care learning within a three-year undergraduate adult nursing degree programme. Objectives were to assess student perceptions of the content and level of learning achieved, explore usefulness of learning, highlight areas that were most useful, and identify suggestions to improve learning. Design: A 3-year quantitative longitudinal design was used. A questionnaire containing open and closed questions was designed to incorporate the personal and professional learning strategies indicated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2010). Setting and participants: The evaluation was completed at the same time point over a three-year period from April 2015–April 2017. The participants were year three student nurses, from 3 consecutive years, enrolled on a pre-registration adult nursing course at one university. There was a 66% response rate (n = 336). Methods: Participant information sheets and questionnaires were distributed and time to complete them facilitated. Responses from closed questions were coded and analysed using descriptive statistics (SPSS 24) and thematic analysis used for open questions. Results: Students expressed satisfaction with their learning, 88.7–97% of students reported a positive impact on their knowledge. They developed an understanding of the impact the nurse can have on the patient and family experience, reporting more confidence and competence in most aspects of end-of-life care. They noted improved ability to utilise this in their subsequent practice experience 88.1–97%. Conclusions: Structured end-of-life care within the curriculum is essential to equip graduate nurses to provide effective evidence informed care. Planning should continue for curriculum development that encompasses person-centred end-of-life care across cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2019


  • End-of-life care
  • undergraduate
  • person-centredness
  • person-centred care
  • curriculum
  • nursing
  • Nursing
  • Curriculum
  • Person-centredness
  • Person-centred care
  • Undergraduate


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