Leave the NCLEX questions for another day…

Leave the NCLEX questions for another day…

Life & Death Matters Post

This morning I woke early, thinking about a question posted on the HPNA Educators Special Interest Forum. A palliative care nurse had been asked to give a short presentation on palliative care to second semester nursing students. The palliative care nurse outlined an engaging education session and then asked about writing or accessing NCLEX style questions to use at the end of the presentation. This question has been on my mind for the past few days.
Here is my response:

I would like to comment on the request behind your question about providing an engaging education session and about integrating NCLEX style questions. The request I would like to comment on is, “…to give a short presentation on palliative care.”

One of the significant challenges that palliative care is facing across North America (and globally) is in helping nursing faculty, curriculum developers, regulators, and accreditors to realize that palliative care needs to be integrated in core curriculum. It cannot and should not be allocated a short presentation, here or there.

The ideas that have been shared in the forum are wonderful. But if, in your short presentation you can inspire and engage the students, light a spark of interest and love for palliative and hospice care, help those who carry some fear to be less afraid, and help them to understand that care of the dying is the responsibility of every nurse, then you will have accomplished a great thing. And I doubt you will have time to discuss NCLEX questions!

You can also help by educating the educator – the person who asked for your presentation. They may appreciate hearing about palliative care resources for teaching their students. They may benefit from hearing about ways to help the rest of the faculty understand the need for palliative care in the core curriculum.

YES to the ELNEC resources mentioned by Toni, Megan, Polly and Dell, (including the NCLEX style questions – because educators love to hear about NCLEX style questions even more than students do!) And YES to the superb movies and clips shared by Megan, Barbara and Donna!

I would like to share the “Competencies And Recommendations for Educating Undergraduate Nursing Students Preparing Nurses to Care for the Seriously Ill and their Families” (CARES) developed by ELNEC, available here.

I never thought I would be a lover of competencies, but my goodness, they are essential!

As a co-chair for the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Palliative End-of-Life Interest Group, and a board member of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses group, and an author of a few palliative care texts and companion resources, I am thinking A LOT about advocacy.

We need to support educators, as you are doing by responding with heart and soul to this request.  We also need to be intentional and teach faculty, curriculum developers, regulators, and accreditors that palliative care is not an option, but instead, it is an essential part of nursing education.

All the very best in your presentation. The students and their educator will love to hear from you, from your heart. They will remember the stories that are behind the cases that you discuss. Leave NCLEX for the longer presentation ?.

Warm regards and please let us know how it goes!

Kath Murray

(The resources I shared are US based, as HPNA is an American association.) What are your thoughts on this?
Across North America I hear students say, “I am sick of hearing that i need to know this for the NCLEX…. I know it is important, but right now, I just want to learn to nurse, not just pass an exam.”

And what are your thoughts on advocacy? What is our role? What is your role?

Love to hear from you!

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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