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

Colleen Lane APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Third Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


Advanced care planning guides health care professionals and surrogate decision-makers choices on end of life (EOL) care when individuals are no longer able to speak for themselves. Advanced care plans can benefit patients in their last six months of life by improving their quality of life and by reducing family members anxiety, depression, and stress when dealing with EOL treatment options. Aside from these benefits, poor communication and knowledge deficits often create barriers when medical staff, families or patients try to broach the subject of EOL care. Barriers can be overcome when health care professionals facilitate advanced care planning conversations in the right setting, with staff trusted by patients, and when medical decisions are not urgent. This scholarly project educated individuals older than 55 years of age. They were provided education on advanced directives, medical terminology, and how to initiate conversations about end of life wishes with family or friends. In one education session, two people attended. Of those two individuals, one had an advanced care plan, and the other individual did not have an advanced care plan. This education session encouraged the participants to update their existing advanced care plan routinely with changes and create one if they previously had not. This education session highlights the importance of educating individuals on the options they have towards EOL and what that can do to ensure their wishes are followed when they can no longer speak for themselves.


SC 11.DNP.2021.Seaquist.J