Nurse Graduates' Perceived Educational Needs After the Death of a Patient: A Descriptive Qualitative Research Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Nurse graduates (NGs) are ill prepared when faced with patient death and dying, despite receiving educational preparation on end-of-life (EOL) care in their prelicensure nursing programs.


This qualitative descriptive study included a convenience sample of NGs (n = 20) who experienced a first adult patient death during their first 18 months of practice at a large teaching hospital with an extensive NG transition program, including preceptor-guided orientations, nurse internship programs, and nurse residency programs.


Six major themes described the NG experience: Navigating the Process, Not Prepared, Support, Missed Opportunities, Preparing NGs for Death and Dying, and Guiding NGs Through Practice. Critical gaps in preparation were evident across all themes.


Results of this study suggest specific opportunities for improvement of NGs' readiness to effectively care for patients and families in EOL situations by increasing their exposure to death and dying experiences before graduation and during their first year of practice. [J Contin Educ Nurs. 2020;50(6):267-273.].

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cadavero, AA; Sharts-Hopko, NC; Granger, BB

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 267 - 273

PubMed ID

  • 32463900

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-2472

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0124

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3928/00220124-20200514-06


  • eng