SPOKANE, Wash. — Nurses spend more time with patients facing the end-of-life than any other member of the health care team. Yet, many nurses feel inadequately prepared to provide the comprehensive and emotional care required at the end-of-life.

Judy Meyers, instructor at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing was one of 100 nurses selected to attend the “End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium,” a three-day course on end-of-life care in Pasadena, Calif.

“All too often nurses and doctors are focused on curing and there comes a time when a cure is no longer possible,” Meyers said. “That is when nurses step in to provide special care for the patient and to help families by beginning discussions and sorting out what to do next.”

The goal of the three-day program was to provide faculty with information of end-of-life care and resources to integrate end-of-life content into nursing school. The program was sponsored by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“This type of care is increasingly important to the nursing profession and to our students because of longer life expectancy, more complex health care issues with advanced technology allowing patients to prolong their life and the aging boomer population,” Meyers said. “The best way to get this information out is to educate nursing educators who in turn will educate their students.”

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium.

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