In the mix: Simulated death studied as educational approach

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, April 19, 2010

How do you help nurses understand and feel competent in end-of-life care? Simulate death. That’s the approach studied by Kim Leighton, PhD, RN, CNE, and Jenna Dubas, MSN, RN, as a way to successfully teach nurses about end-of-life care. The study, published in Clinical Simulation in Nursing, looked at how nursing students and practicing nurses could increase self-efficacy and competency levels for end-of-life care. (Click here to read the abstract. Full text requires a log-in.)

The challenge, according the abstract, is that nursing programs can't provide opportunities to participate in such care. Instead, the authors studied the use of patient simulation end-of-life scenarios.

I've been seeing this study linked to by nurses on Twitter. The general consensus seems to be that death is a subject to which nursing programs do not give enough attention. One person said that it's often a blurb at the end of chapter, when really, it should be its own chapter, or even book.

How do you feel? Were you trained for end-of-life care? If you had the chance to take a simulated class such as this or more education on the subject, would you? Talk with other nurses at


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