Death, dying and caring: exploring the student nurse experience of palliative and end-of-life education

Sandra Murnane, Geraldine Purcell, Mary Reidy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Undergraduate education and training are fundamental in preparing student nurses for working in palliative and end-of-life care.

Aim: This article explores the experiences of student nurses in their palliative and end-of-life undergraduate nurse education.

Methodology: Sandelowski and Barroso's (2007) framework for undertaking a metasynthesis was used. Initial database searches returned 60 articles of interest. Re-reading the articles in the context of the research question identified 10 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Four key themes emerged.

Findings: Student nurses voiced concerns regarding their feelings of unpreparedness, and lack of confidence and knowledge when dealing with the complexities of palliative and end-of-life care. Student nurses called for more training and education in palliative and end-of-life care.

Conclusion: Flexible nursing curricula responsive to the needs of student nurses and the changing landscape of healthcare provision, including care to ensure a good death experience, should be prioritised at undergraduate level.

Keywords: Education; End-of-life care; Metasynthesis; Palliative care; Student nurse.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Pages (from-to)526
Number of pages531
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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