Guiding the Process of Dying: The Personal Impact on Nurses

Dianne White, MS, RN; Mary Ann Meeker, DNS, RN, CHPN


Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 2019;21(5):390-396. 

In This Article


It is clear from this study that care of EOL patients and their families continues to be ethically challenging and emotionally demanding work. Preparation for the role and retention of these professionals is dependent on leadership attention to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and plan staffing for acute care units in a manner that allows time for EOL presence and communication. Educational and experiential training must be evaluated and improved to provide prelicensure and postlicensure education that will facilitate the development of EOL expertise, including skill in fostering family consensus and support, facilitating early decision making, and promoting interdisciplinary communication. Mindful nurse leaders in acute care settings can elevate the standard of care and improve organizational structures to reduce the personal impact on nurses as they guide the process of dying.