Near death experience: a concept analysis as applied to nursing

J Adv Nurs. 2001 Nov;36(4):520-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.02004.x.


Background: A concept is a thought or complicated mental illustration of a phenomenon. Concepts are essential in research development as they are described as the building blocks of theory. The occurrence of near death experiences (NDEs) is not an innovative subject. Parallels have existed as early as the Bible and Plato's Republic. The NDE was given further consideration in 1975 by Dr Raymond Moody who initiated an interest from the general public and researchers alike, with his book Life after Life.

Method: This paper will use the strategy of concept analysis to find a working definition for the concept of the NDE and the implications it has for nursing.

Conclusion: This paper will attest that the number of people who have claimed to have a NDE is phenomenal and overwhelming. In addition, it claims that the numbers of those who have experienced this phenomenon may be underestimated because of the persons' feeling of insecurity in talking with others about their paranormal incident. Therefore, it is vital that nurses become aware of the NDE and how to support the client who has had the experience. The following paper will summarize the different stages of a NDE, the consequences that one experiences, both positive and negative, and nursing implications.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Death*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / nursing
  • Leukemia / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / nursing
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / psychology