Kim Martz, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, will participate in a Cambia Health Foundation three-year grant to improve palliative care nursing education in undergraduate nursing programs across the nation.
Cambia Health Foundation is investing nearly $800,000 to develop an innovative online curriculum to integrate palliative care in undergraduate nursing education across the nation. The online format will make the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curriculum equally available to students in rural areas and help standardize palliative care nursing education. Initially, the new ELNEC curriculum will be introduced to 92 undergraduate nursing programs in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, and Washington, before dissemination to nursing schools in all 50 states. ELNEC is a collaboration of City of Hope and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Betty Ferrell, professor and research scientist at City of Hope, is the project’s principal investigator along with co-investigators from AACN and City of Hope.
“This investment aligns with Cambia Health Foundation’s focus to increase access to palliative care in rural areas and strengthen the palliative care workforce nationwide,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair of the Cambia Health Foundation. “This experiential, online curriculum, which ultimately will improve the care of our most seriously ill patients, reaches the intersection of innovation, compassion and leadership in our journey to improve health care.”
The online curriculum supports recommendations made in the 2014 Institute of Medicine report, “Dying in America,” which illustrated the gap between what services are available to individuals and what they want, and highlighted the critical need for additional palliative care training amongst healthcare professionals.
The first year of the grant is dedicated to reviewing the current state of undergraduate palliative care nursing education. The investigators met with 20 nursing faculty from around the country, including Martz, for a summit in Portland, Oregon on October 19-21 to revise the AACN “Peaceful Death: Recommended Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for End-of-Life Nursing Care.” The outdated guidelines were developed in 1998 to define competencies that nurses need to provide care.