Strategies for End of Life Care – NURS 519

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

The focus of this course is to explore the multifaceted role of caring for the patient who has reached the end of life. Particular attention is given to providing sufficient knowledge to assure that the student will be prepared to facilitate the patient's comfort and quality of life. Other areas include ethical / legal issues, cultural perspectives on death and dying, grief, and death. Course content emphasizes the respectful treatment of the entire individual and the delivery of care with the love of Christ. (Elective course)

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Of all health professionals, nurses spend the greatest amount of time with the dying patient and the family. Expert nursing care can decrease anxiety, provide physical and emotional comfort, and facilitate the transition from life to death with dignity. This course will lay the foundation for developing a practice that is focused on decreasing care giver burden and facilitating the grief process.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain various facets of end-of-life care. MSN Essentials I, I.4, IX, IX.8: PLO 6
  2. Discuss treatment options, therapeutic remedies, and comfort facilitation during end stage disease. MSN Essentials VIII, VIII.3; PLO 4. 
  3. Determine appropriate interventions based upon the health status, sociocultural background of the patient, and the patient’s view of quality of life. MSN Essentials VIII, VIII.3, VIII.5, IX, IX.6; PLO 4 &18. 
  4. Apply a theoretical approach by providing care for ill individuals and their families that reflects care giving as a ministry. MSN Essentials III, III.4, IV, IV.1, VIII, VIII.1, VIII.2, VIII.5, IX, IX.6; PLO 6. 
  5. Enable patients to obtain self-determined quality of life, including pain management. MSN Essentials III, III.2, III.6; PLO 3 & 13. 
  6. Explain individual grief and methods of grief facilitation. MSN Essentials I, I.6, III, III.1, VIII, VIII.3; PLO 6 
  7. Implement the art of communicating with the dying patient and his or her family. MSN Essentials III, III.5, VII, VII.5, IX.4; PLOs 6 &13. 
  8. Apply a personal and professional Christian value system, based on Biblical principles, and apply it to issues related to the practice of end of life nursing care. MSN Essentials I, 1.4, IX, IX.8 III,  PLOs, 6 & 13. 


Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Measurable Learning Outcomes: A-G; PLOs 3, 8, 9, 13

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 2 Discussions in this course. For each thread, assertions must be supported with at least 2 citations in current APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 citation. Acceptable sources include any of the required textbooks, the Bible, and peer-reviewed articles from professional journals. The thread and reply must include biblical integration. The student is required to post 1 thread of at least 500 words and 1 reply of at least 250 words. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A-G; PLOs 1-4, 6-10, 13 & 16)

Spiritual Assessment Assignment

The student will complete a Spiritual Assessment based on the template with questions provided. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A, C-G; PLO 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16) 

Cultural Assessment Assignment

The student will complete a Cultural Assessment based on the template provided within the course. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A, C-G; PLO 4, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16)

Questions and Answers Assignments (2)

The student will respond to topic-based questions with each response being no less than 150 words. Answers are to be based on outside resources rather than on personal opinion. Opinions must be supported by appropriately cited and referenced resources. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A-G; PLOs 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, 13 & 16)

Case Study Assignments (2)

The student will complete 2 case studies in which he/she will read the cases provided and answer the questions that follow. Responses are to be based upon assigned readings, peer-reviewed resources, and personal/professional experiences. All responses must be supported by properly cited and referenced resources in current APA format. Each case study must be 3–5 pages not including the title page or the reference page. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A-G; PLOs 1, 3, 4, 6) 

Research Article Assignment

The student will choose an intervention for the treatment of pain from the Matzo & Sherman textbook, research a current article, and answer the provided questions in a 3–5-page paper. The paper must be written in current APA format. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A-E; PLOs 1, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16) 

Ethical Dilemma Research Paper Assignment

Using the Decision Making Model, the student will select an ethical dilemma (as related to the course) and write a 8 to 10 page paper following each step of the model. The paper must use a minimum of 5 current (written within the past 5 years) peer-reviewed journal articles and properly cite them in current APA format. (Measurable Learning Outcomes: A, B, D, E, G; PLOs 1, 2, 4, 6, 8-11, 13, 16)