Date of Graduation


Document Type



palliative care, end-of-life, nurses, critical care, intensive care, ICU, education, webinar, competency, and knowledge

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level



Michele Kilmer

Committee Member

Susan Patton


Patients with serious illness lack access to quality patient-centered care despite the growth in palliative care awareness and services. Palliative care is an interdisciplinary care system intended to optimize the quality of life of patients with serious, life-limiting illness and their families. Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) are facing critical illnesses and can benefit from palliative care integration into their care. This DNP quality improvement (QI) project, grounded in Benner’s Novice to Expert nursing theory, aimed to increase ICU nurse competency in palliative care from novice to competent through a continuing education webinar. The study analyzed nurses’ competency in palliative care management pre-and post-webinar implementation using the Palliative Care Nurses Self-Competency instrument, which assessed competency in addressing pain and other symptoms, psychosocial and spiritual needs, functional status, ethical and legal issues, communication, personal and professional issues, and end-of-life (EOL) care. The results showed no significant difference in the overall total competency scores pre-webinar (M = 4.01, SD = 0.54) and post-webinar (M = 4.39, SD = 0.54) conditions; t (9) = -1.89, p = .091. There was an overall increase in nurses’ pre- to post-intervention competency in all 10 domains, which was statistically significant in the Physical Needs: Other Symptoms domain. The greatest increase in competency was seen in Physical Needs: Other Symptoms, Social Needs, and Ethical and Legal Issues, and the lowest increase in Physical Needs: Pain, EOL Care, and Functional Status Needs. These project results will guide further educational interventions in palliative care management.

Available for download on Thursday, April 27, 2023