Teaching palliative care in undergraduate nursing education





Palliative Care; Teaching; Nursing; Professional Training; Higher Education Institutions.


Objective: to identify the teaching of palliative care in undergraduate nursing education. Methods: scoping review in the following databases: Latin American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences, Nursing Database, Spanish Bibliographical Index in Health Sciences, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, and Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online. Results: seventeen articles were included. The content on palliative care is present in education, mainly through elective courses, but also in compulsory subjects and through outreach projects. In developed countries, simulation, clinical immersion/experience and problem-based learning strategies are used. Conclusion: evidence of the presence of palliative care in education was identified, especially in elective subjects, whose approach takes place more often in the theoretical context allied to practical experiences.


World Health Organization. Global atlas of palliative care at the end of life [Internet]. 2014 [cited Nov. 26, 2018]. Available from: http://www.who.int/nmh/Global_Atlas_of_Palliative_Care.pdf

Carvalho KK, Lunardi VL, Silva PA, Vasques TCS, Amestoy SC. Educational process in palliative care and the thought reform. Invest Educ Enferm. 2017; 35(1):17-25. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17533/udea.iee.v35n1a03

Morais EN, Conrad D, Mattos EM, Cruz SAC, Machado GC, Abreu MO. Palliative care: coping nurses in a private hospital in the city of Rio de Janeiro - RJ. J Res Fundam Care Online. 2018. 2018; 10(2):318-325. http://dx.doi.org/10.9789/2175-5361.2018.v10i2.318-325

Silveira NR, Nascimento ERP, Rosa LM, Jung W, Martins S, Fontes MS, et al. Palliative care and the intensive care nurses: feelings that endure. Rev Bras Enferm. 2018; 69(6):1074-81. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-7167-2016-0267

Silva RS, Oliveira CCSG, Pereira A, Amaral JB. Care to the person in a terminal process in the perception of the nursing students. Rev Rene. 2015; 16(3):415-24. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15253/2175-6783.2015000300015

Garcia JBS, Rodrigues RF, Lima SF. Structuring a palliative care service in Brazil: experience report. Rev Bras Anestesiol. 2014; 64(4)286-91. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjan.2013.06.007

Costa AP, Poles K, Silva AE. Palliative care training: experience of medical and nursing students. Interface (Botucatu). 2016; 20(59):1041-52. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1807-57622015.0774

Peters MD, Godfrey CM, Khalil H, McInerney P, Parker D, Soares CB. Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews. Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2015; 13(3):141-6. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/XEB.0000000000000050

Peters MD, Godfrey CM, Khalil H, McInerney P, Parker D, Soares CB. The Joanna Briggs Institute reviewers’ manual 2015: methodology for JBI scoping reviews [Internet]. 2015 [cited Jan. 14, 2019]. Available from: http://joannabriggs.org/assets/docs/sumari/Reviewers-Manual_Methodology-for-JBI-Scoping-Reviews_2015_v1.pdf

Galvão TF, Pansani TSA, Harrad D. Principais itens para relatar Revisões sistemáticas e Meta-análises: a recomendação PRISMA. Epidemiol Serv Saúde. 2015; 24(2):335-42. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5123/s1679-49742015000200017

Sujatha R, Jayagowri, K. Assessment of palliative care awareness among undergraduate healthcare students. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017; 9(11):6-10 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7860/jcdr/2017/29070.10684

Guimarães TM, Silva LF, Espírito SFH, Moraes JRMM, Pacheco STA. Palliative care in paediatric oncology in nursing education. Rev Gaúcha Enferm. 2017; 38(1):e65409. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1983-1447.2017.01.65409

Head BA, Schapmire T, Earnshaw L, Faul A, Hermann C, Jones C, et al. Evaluation of an interdisciplinary curriculum teaching team-based palliative care integration in oncology. J Canc Educ. 2016; 31(2):358-65. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13187-015-0799-y

Lewis C, Reid J, McLernon Z, Ingham R, Traynor M. The impact of a simulated intervention on attitudes of undergraduate nursing and medical students towards end of life care provision. BMC Palliat Care. 2016; 15(1):1-6. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12904-016-0143-2

Hold JL, Blake BL, Ward EN. Perceptions and experiences of nursing students enrolled in a palliative and end-of-life nursing elective: a qualitative study. Nurse Educ Today. 2015; 35(6):777-81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2015.02.011

Fabro K, Schaffer M, Scharton J. The development, implementation, and evaluation of an end-of-life simulation experience for baccalaureate nursing students. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2014; 35(1):19-25. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5480/11-593.1

Head BA, Schapmire T, Hermann C, Earnshaw L, Faul A, Jones C, et al. The Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Oncology Palliative Care Education (iCOPE): meeting the challenge of interprofessio- nal education. J Palliat Med. 2014; 17(10):1107-14. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2014.0070

Charalambou A, Kaite C. Undergraduate nursing students caring for cancer patients: hermeneutic phenomenological insights of their experiences. BMC Health Serv Res. 2013; 13(1):1-13. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-13-63

Price J, Dornan J, Quail L. Seeing is believing – Reducing misconceptions about children’s hospice care through effective teaching with undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Pract. 2013; 13(5):361-5. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2012.09.013

Pullis BC. Integration of end-of-life education into a community health nursing course. Public Health Nurs. 2013; 30(5):463-7. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phn.12063

Mutto EM, Cantoni MN, Rabhansl MM, Villar MJ. A perspective of end-of-life care education in undergraduate medical and nursing students in Buenos Aires, Argentina. J Palliat Med. 2012; 15(1):93-8. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2011.0238

Sadhu S, Salins NS, Kamath A. Palliative care Awareness among Indian undergraduate health care students: a needs-assessment study to determine incorporation of palliative care education in undergraduate medical, nursing and allied health education. Indian J Palliat Care. 2010; 16(3):154-9. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0973-1075.73645

Mckee N, Goodridge D, Remillard F, D’Eon M. Interprofessional palliative care problem-based learning: Evaluation of a pilot module as a teaching and learning method. J Inter Prof Care. 2009; 24(2):194-7. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13561820903275043

Brajtman S, Fothergill-Bourbonnais F, Casey A, Alain D, Fiset V. Providing direction for change: assessing Canadian nursing students learning needs. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2007; 13(5):213-21. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2007.13.5.23491

Mallory JL. The impact of a palliative care educational component on attitudes toward care of the dying in undergraduate nursing students. J Prof Nurs. 2003; 19(5):305-12. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s8755-7223(03)00094-2

Melnyk BM, Fineout-Overholt E. Evidencebased practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2011.

Gasparro AK, Shaw MD. Integration of palliative care into a nurse practitioner DNP program. J Nurse Pract. 2017; 13(8):383-8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.04.011

Victor GHGG. Palliative care around the world. Rev Bras Cancerol [Internet]. 2016 [cited Jan. 13, 2019];62(3):267-70. Available from: http://www.inca.gov.br/rbc/n_62/v03/pdf/11-resenha-cuidados-paliativos-no-mundo.pdf

Ballesteros M, Centeno C, Arantzamendi M. A qualitative exploratory study of nursing students’ assessment of the contribution of palliative care learning. Nurse Educ Today. 2014; 34(6):1-6. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2013.12.010

Smith MB, Macieira TGR, Bumbach MD, Garbutt SJ, Citty SW, Stephen A, et al. The use of simulation to Teach Nursing Students and Clinicians Palliative Care and End-of-Life Communication: A Systematic Review. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2018; 35(8):1140-54. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049909118761386



How to Cite

Gonçalves, R. G., Silveira, B. R. D., Pereira, W. C., Ferreira, L. B., Queiroz, A. A. R. de, & Menezes, R. M. P. de. (2019). Teaching palliative care in undergraduate nursing education. Rev Rene, 20, e39554. https://doi.org/10.15253/2175-6783.20192039554



Review Article