Document Type

DNP Project

Publication Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Faculty Advisor

Geraldine Budd, PhD, APRN

Practice Mentor

Deirdre Doyle, RN, MSN, MHA, CNML


Significance and Background: The focus of this project was to strength the knowledge, comfort, and training of end of life(EOL) clinicians working with patients in the palliative care and hospice environments. While spirituality is considered one of the essential domains of hospice care, it is an area that is often brushed aside by staff and patients and their families. Spirituality is inadequately addressed due to knowledge deficits, time issues, and lack of self-efficacy. Addressing spiritual care is particularly important for patients with chronic and end stage illnesses. Patients and their families view spirituality as a way of coping with suffering.

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to provide EOL clinicians with additional spirituality education. The additional education can enhance knowledge and competence and assist patients in achieving a better quality of life(QOL) through spiritual care.

Methods: The Plan, Do, Study, Act frame was used to develop a spirituality education program for EOL staff. The Spiritual Care and Competence Scale was given to participants before and after the education intervention to assess differences in clinicians’ knowledge, competence, and comfort in providing spiritual care to her/his patients. The Sacred Heart University Institutional Review Board (IRB) granted approval for the project prior to implementation.

Outcome: At eight weeks, staff demonstrated more knowledge to identify and engage in spiritual care conversations with patients and families at first posttest. The survey responses show an increase their knowledge and competence when addressing a patient’s spirituality and how the patients’ spirituality fits in their overall plan of care.

Discussion: Through analysis of the pretests and the postests, the staff showed increased competence and understanding in supporting a patient’s spirituality. For staff to become efficient in providing spiritual care to their patients, ongoing spiritual care training is needed. This quality improvement supports staff education and awareness that reinforces EOL staff’s ability to provide basic spiritual care.


A DNP project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice, Sacred Heart University Davis & Henley College of Nursing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Available for download on Saturday, March 23, 2024