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A thematic analysis of nursing students’ end-of-life knowledge

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-21, 16:07 authored by Edwards Susanna
Background: Nursing Associations recommend that undergraduate nursing programs integrate end-of-life content throughout their nursing curricula to address the needs of those requiring such care. Objective: To determine the extent of nursing students' knowledge about end-of-life care in the final year of an undergraduate nursing program in Ontario, Canada. Method: The content of reflective exercises written by 24 nursing students enrolled in an end-of-life elective were thematically analyzed, both at the beginning and end of a 12 week course. Results: Results indicate that undergraduate nursing students’ end-of-life knowledge and experiences vary greatly. The overarching theme Duty of Care indicated that the students were motivated to take the course to fulfill a sense of professional responsibility. The sub-themes Assumptions and Experience (subdivided as Limited, Personal, and Professional) depicted students' initial and variable understanding of end-of-life care. Under the theme of Transferable Skills, the students’ range of knowledge and the competencies they gained from their clinical placements and the course were illustrated. Conclusion: The study is expected to aid in curriculum review of a university's undergraduate nursing program.