As the world’s population ages, palliative care is becoming increasingly important to provide quality care to patients at the end of their lives. APRNs are currently in great demand for providing care to Americans with serious and life-threatening illnesses. With their advanced training, APRNs are in a unique position to train other nurses and healthcare providers to provide high-quality palliative care.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the City of Hope in Los Angeles administer a program known as the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). This program has trained more than 20,100 nurses and other healthcare professionals to teach their colleagues on how to provide quality palliative care.
ELNEC began in February 2000 with a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This program has trained nurses in all 50 states and 86 other countries in providing palliative care. These nurses have gone on to educate their colleagues and students in this critical area. Estimates suggest that ELNEC trainers have returned to their communities and institutions and trained more than 600,000 nurses and other healthcare providers to provide palliative care to their patients.
Trainers in this area have contributed to providing more quality palliative care by incorporating content into nursing curriculum, coordinating community partnerships, and hosting regional training sessions to expand the reach of ELNEC into rural and underserved communities.
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, ELNEC held a summit in Hawaii in August 2015 to train APRNs in advanced palliative care. Participants had the option of choosing between adult or pediatric coursework. This summit addressed the unique needs of APRNs who are in the process of:
- Incorporating palliative care in their role as an APRN
- Joining and/or participating in a hospice/palliative care team
- Leading a hospice/palliative care team
- Developing a palliative care program