Outcomes of a National Training Curriculum to Advance Generalist Level Palliative Care

Betty R. Ferrell, Judith A. Paice, Patrick J. Coyne, Denice Economou, Cheryl Ann Thaxton, Dorothy Wholihan, Vanessa Battista, Amy Haskamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The adoption of palliative care as an integral component of health care has led to the need for generalist level providers, especially important in serious illnesses such as cancer. Objectives: The goals of this National Cancer Institute-funded training program were to (1) identify the eight domains of quality palliative care applied to oncology practice, (2) demonstrate skills for oncology advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the domains of palliative care, and (3) develop goals for implementing the skills training in practice through process improvement, staff education, and clinical care. Design: The training program led by the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project included oncology APRNs in a three-day training course with one-year follow-up for ongoing support and to assess impact. Settings: Five training courses included 430 APRNs from 46 U.S states including both pediatric and adult oncology settings. The project included 25% minority participants. Measurement: Measures included participant goal implementation, course evaluations, and surveys to assess implementation and palliative care practices (precourse, 6 and 12 months postcourse). Results: The ELNEC oncology APRN training course resulted in changes in practice across domains, improved perceived effectiveness in clinical practice, and valuable insight regarding the challenges in generalist level palliative care implementation. Conclusion: The ELNEC oncology APRN course serves as a model for the palliative care field to advance generalist level practice. Future training efforts can build on this project to reach more oncology professionals and those in other areas of serious illness care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • advanced practice nursing
  • cancer
  • generalist palliative care
  • nursing education
  • palliative care in oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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