Improving Knowledge, Comfort, and Confidence of Nurses Providing End-of-Life Care in the Hospital Setting Through Use of the CARES Tools

Alison Stacy, DNP, RN, AGACNP-BC; Kathy Magdic, DNP, ACNP-BC, FAANP; Margaret Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-C, AOCNP, FAAN; Bonnie Freeman, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, ACHPN; Denise Verosky, MSN, RN, CNS


Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 2019;21(3):200-206. 

In This Article


With in-hospital deaths on the rise, nurses need to be adequately prepared to care for dying patients and their families to improve the overall EOL experience. Use of the CARES tool for nurses significantly improved knowledge regarding EOL care, knowledge, and comfort in addressing symptom management needs of the dying, including comfort/pain management, airway and emotional support, and confidence in communicating about the dying process with family members of dying patients. Final Journey helped families be more informed, helped nurses answer difficult questions, and promoted and encouraged communication between health care professionals and families. Through use of the CARES tools, unnecessary suffering at EOL can be mitigated by improving the EOL knowledge of nurses and the EOL experience as perceived by family members of dying patients.

The CARES tools are available as free downloads at