Development of end-of-life peer nurse coaches: A hospital-based quality improvement project

Barbara M. Usher, Jeannine DiNella, Dianxu Ren, Zhan Liang, Patricia K. Tuite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


New nurse hires lacked end-of-life nursing experience in the hospital, and mechanisms were unavailable to guide them. A quality improvement project was developed to address this. Seventy-three registered nurses representing 39 nursing units received training as end-of-life peer nurse coaches. This training included 2 hours of end-of-life education and 2 hours of communication/simulation training. Coaches were provided with communication prompt cards, a Nurse to Nurse: Palliative Care book, and additional resources. The outcome of the project on peer nurse coach self-perceived competency was measured using an abridged version the Scale of End of Life Care in the ICU tool before and after training, at 6 months, and at 1 year. A report card was used to record coaching activities at 6 months, and a survey was conducted to evaluate these activities at 1 year. Peer nurse coach self-perceived competencies in end-of-life care delivery improved after training, at 6 months (P <.01), and at 1 year (P <.05). Qualitative findings highlighted various ways peer nurse coaches manifest these new roles. The plan-do-study-act method, the peer nurse coach approach, availability of unit-based end-of-life resources, and peer nurse coach mentoring had positive effects on peer nurse coach self-perceived end-of-life competence and their abilities to coach new nurse hires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care
  • End-of-life care
  • Peer nurse coach
  • Quality/improvement/review/assurance
  • Staff education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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