Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Lisa VanGetson APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Susan M. Cutshall, APRN, CNS, DNP


The shift in healthcare indicates Americans are living longer with progressive chronic illnesses subsequently reducing quality-of-life. Primary care providers have opportunities to assess the need for and implement palliative care to offer holistic symptom management to improve patient’s quality-of-life. The purpose of this scholarly project, guided by Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, is to assess primary care providers knowledge and comfort regarding initiating palliative care while determining if additional education improves their familiarity. The objectives were to review current palliative care literature identifying barriers and inadequacies, determine evidence-based practice to develop an educational presentation and resources to improve communication, and present this education to providers in a rural healthcare setting. The education and crucial conversations guide were provided to two groups with a total of 23 participants including primary care practitioners and third-year family nurse practitioner doctoral students. The presentation focused on the definition of palliative care and information on crucial conversations to encourage introduction of palliative care earlier in the disease process. Assessment of participants prior to the presentation indicates the majority do not feel confident in their palliative care knowledge and skills. Although further research is needed, the results of the scholarly project are encouraging and stress the importance of palliative care education for providers in the primary care setting for future patient successes.


SC 11.DNP..2021.Bond.M