Nursing presence during death: An end-of-life simulation created by students and faculty

Benjamin Roberts, Valerie T. Cotter, Kaytlyn Scott, Lauren Greco, Jennifer Wenzel, Jessica Ockimey, Bryan R. Hansen, Nancy Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nursing curricula often lack end-of-life (EOL) care training, particularly regarding the nursing skill of “being present.” Collaboration between students and faculty in curriculum design is rare, but may effectively help fill the curriculum gaps in EOL care. Aim: To describe the creation of a novel EOL care simulation by students and faculty, and its implementation into a pre-licensure Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) curriculum. Methods: With support from expert faculty, three students developed an EOL care simulation focused on nursing presence, comfort care, and compassionate communication. Pilot participants submitted pre- and post-test surveys regarding confidence in providing comfort measures for dying patients. The simulation was integrated into the MSN curriculum and simulation evaluations were collected. Findings: Pilot data are limited. Once incorporated into the curriculum, 95% of respondents (N = 38; response rate 35%) reported feeling better prepared to respond to changes in patient condition, more confident in their ability to prioritise care and interventions, and better able to communicate with patients. One hundred percent of respondents recommended the simulation for future use. Discussion: A curricular gap in EOL care provided a unique opportunity for nursing students and faculty to develop clinical EOL care training that focused on compassionate nursing presence. Conclusion: This project demonstrated the potential for collaboration between nursing students and faculty to enhance nursing education in EOL care. Pre-licensure exposure to the general principles of EOL care and nursing presence may be beneficial for new nurses entering the workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Graduate nursing education
  • Palliative care nursing
  • Patient simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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