Nursing Students' Knowledge of Palliative Care at a University in Turkey

Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2018 Aug;32(3):276-295. doi: 10.1891/1541-6577.32.3.276.


Background and purpose: Nursing students must acquire knowledge and skills sufficient to deliver high-quality services. Previous studies indicated that students' palliative care knowledge was insufficient. Few studies evaluating nursing students' palliative care opinions and skills are available in Turkey. This study aimed to determine student nurses' knowledge of palliative care.

Methods: This descriptive survey study included 658 students. Researchers collected the data via a 19-item questionnaire. Frequency, percentage, and mean values were used in analysis of the data.

Results: Only 5.3% of participants correctly answered all items, while 26.3% gave correct answers in line with palliative care theoretical framework, and 5.3% gave correct responses for symptom management. Students were found to be quite lacking in palliative care knowledge.

Implications for practice: A content increase in the curriculum could improve students' theoretical knowledge. In addition, students can be incorporated, as team members, into the palliative care process beginning at patient diagnosis.

Keywords: knowledge; nursing student; palliative care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Female
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students, Nursing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey
  • Universities
  • Young Adult