Palliative Care Nursing: A Concept Analysis

Posted on December 5, 2017 by


The current featured ANS article is titled “A Concept Analysis of Palliative Care Nursing: Advancing Nursing Theory” by Amanda J. Kirkpatrick, MSN, RN-BC; Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN. The article is available for download at no cost while it is featured, and we welcome your comments about the article here!  Here is a message from Amanda Kirpatrick about her work:

When I first graduated with my BSN and began working as a nurse I quickly realized how unprepared I felt to deliver palliative care to seriously ill patients, and to handle patient issues surrounding the end of life. I am now an experienced nurse and nurse educator who teaches students about the importance of early referral to palliative care to ensure that patients receive the best symptom

Amanda J. Kirkpatrick

management and achieve the highest quality of life possible while managing a serious life-limiting illness. In support of this aim, and as part of my doctoral studies, I began researching how nurses attain competence in palliative care nursing. I discovered that there was a gap in the literature related to palliative care nursing theory, and determined that a concept analysis of palliative care nursing (using Walker and Avant’s methodology) was needed. I believed a concept analysis was the best way to identify the antecedents of palliative care nursing competence, as well as to clearly describe the nursing behaviors that demonstrate that palliative care nursing competence is achieved.

This concept analysis is very timely considering the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) January 2016 release of 17 Competencies and Recommendations for Educating Undergraduate Nursing Students (CARES) for Preparing Nurses to Care for the Seriously Ill and their Families. This concept analysis fills an international knowledge gap in the theoretical understanding of palliative care nursing, which currently limits the potential for nursing education and research in this area. Establishing a clear understanding of how palliative care nursing competence is developed and translates into practice holds value for nurses who implement this important care, nursing educators who must prepare these nurses to meet the AACN competencies, and researchers investigating palliative care nursing practice.