Simulated Death

An Innovative Approach to Teaching End-of-Life Care
Published:September 04, 2009DOI:


      Nursing students, and many practicing nurses, lack self-efficacy and competence in providing quality end-of-life care. Nursing programs are frequently unable to provide opportunities to participate in end-of-life nursing care in the traditional clinical setting, despite evidence that experiential learning enhances student attitudes about death and increases self-efficacy and competency levels. The authors describe a simulated clinical experience using high-fidelity patient simulation in an undergraduate nursing elective to facilitate application of theory content to a clinical end-of-life scenario. Themes identified in participant evaluations, including impact of family presence, value of realism (fidelity), and self-efficacy, are explored.


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      1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2004). Peaceful death: Recommended competencies and curricular guidelines for end-of-life nursing care. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from

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