The Opportunity for Nurses in Delivering Palliative Care

With rising health care expenditures becoming a main area of focus for providers and researchers working within the U.S. health system, there has been a continued trend of encouraging patients to utilize palliative care. Palliative care can address a broad range of issues, integrating an individual’s specific needs into care. One of the key targets of palliative care is to transition a patient from curative treatment to end-of-life care that emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to end-of-life care. Research shows that palliative care and its many components are beneficial to patient and family health and well-being.

The most recent edition of RWJF's "Sharing Nursing's Knowledge" features an article which calls on nurses to take a larger role in the delivery of quality palliative care:

Nursing, like palliative care, focuses on pain and symptom management, patient advocacy and education of the patient and family. Both fields emphasize holistic care of the patient’s body, mind and spirit; serve family members and caregivers, rather than just the patient; and take patient wishes into account when designing plans of care, according to Todd Hultman, PhD, APRN-BC, ACHP.

INQRI agrees that nurses have much to contribute in this vital area.  A grantee team at the Oregon Health and Science University worked to identify nursing's contributions to quality palliative care.