Bridging the gap: can a link nurse initiative influence palliative care in an acute hospital?

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2007 Mar;13(3):102-8. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2007.13.3.23271.


With 90% of people needing some inpatient hospital care in the final year of life, it is evident that the provision and awareness of palliative care, and education surrounding this, are widely needed. This study aims to evaluate a palliative care link nurse initiative (PCLN) in an NHS acute hospital, identifying key factors affecting link nurses' ability to influence palliative care practice. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews and a focus group to show the anticipated and actual influence of link nurses on practice. Findings suggest that link nurses had increased knowledge and skills in palliative care due to education provided. Link nurses were seen to have an influence on the presence and quality of palliative care practice in hospital wards. Factors that could help link nurses to have greater influence are reported, as are difficulties in providing care and accessing training.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Facility Environment
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology*
  • Nurse Clinicians / education
  • Nurse Clinicians / organization & administration*
  • Nurse Clinicians / psychology
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Organizational Culture
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management
  • United Kingdom