Date of Graduation

Winter 12-13-2019

Document Type

Restricted Project - USF access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




DNP Completion

First Advisor

Brian Budds

Second Advisor

Cathy Coleman



Problem: Critical care nurses are constantly exposed to end-of-life (EOL) care, resulting in burnout and moral distress. The emotional and physical care provided to patients and the support provided to the families during EOL care can cause moral distress and emotional exhaustion for critical care nurses.

Context: Critical care nurses from a 24-bed intensive care unit at a community-based hospital were assessed for moral distress and burnout and the efficacy of EOL communication training to help reduce moral distress and burnout.

Intervention: Critical care nurses were provided with American Association of Colleges of Nursing End-of-Life-Care (ELNEC) EOL care communication training as an intervention to reduce moral distress and burnout. ELNEC material was presented via pre-recorded Power Point presentations to be viewed at the nurse’s convenience.

Measures: The study change of practice intervention was designed as a post hoc analysis measuring levels of moral distress and burnout pre- and post-intervention. To measure moral distress, the Measure of Moral Distress for Healthcare Professionals (MMD-HP) scale was used. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) was utilized to measure levels of burnout.

Results: 28 nurses completed the pre-intervention survey, and of those, 12 competed the post-intervention survey. Nurses (58.3%) experienced a reduction in the MMD-HP, and 66.67% of the nurses experienced a reduction in OLBI scores.

Conclusion: The results indicate that this training intervention has the potential to significantly reduce moral distress and burnout for critical care nurses. Additional exploration and research regarding the efficacy of End-of-Life Nursing Consortium EOL communication training to reduce critical care nurse moral distress and burnout is recommended.

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