Article Text

Palliative and end-Of-life care education for general nurses
  1. Michelle McGannan, Lecturer
  1. Michelle McGannan, at the time of writing, was Macmillan Lecturer, Specialist and Palliative Care Section, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London. She is now Practice Educator, Marie Curie Cancer Care, The Marie Curie Hospice, Caterham, Surrey. Email: michelle.mcgannan{at}


Most palliative and end-of-life care is delivered by general nurses in the non-specialist setting. The aim of this article is to provide an outline of postregistration education and training in palliative care for nurses working in non-specialist, clinical settings. It commences with discussion regarding the assessment of nurses’ learning and development needs, followed by an overview of education and training opportunities. This overview examines university-based education, incorporating types of course available, followed by an outline of more informal education. It also examines work-based learning opportunities. Common questions that nurses ask regarding palliative and end-of-life care education are addressed. The article concludes that palliative care education in a generalist setting may be valuable for nurses, the multidisciplinary team, the patient and family. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Assessment of learning needs
  • Education
  • Formal learning opportunities
  • Palliative and end-of-life care
  • Training
  • Work-based learning

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