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Introduction: Effectively discussing palliative care with patients and families requires knowledge and skill. The purpose of this study was to determine perceived needs of inpatient nurses for communicating with patients and families about palliative and end-of-life (EoL) care. Method: A non-experimental design was used. In total, 60 inpatient nurses from one hospital in Idaho completed the End of Life Professional Caregiver Survey (EPCS), which examines three domains: patient and family-centered communication, cultural and ethical values, and effective care delivery. Results: The number of years’ experience nurses had (F(9,131.57)=2.22, p=0.0246; Wilk's ^=0.709) and the unit they worked on (F(6,110)=2.49, p=0.0269; Wilk's ^=0.775) had a significant effect on their comfort discussing EoL and palliative care with patients and their families. For all three domains, years of nursing experience was positively associated with comfort in communicating about EoL care. Oncology nurses were most comfortable with regard to patient and family-centered communication. Discussion: The success and sustainability of this service is dependent on education for health-care providers. Studies are needed to determine the most effective ways to meet this educational challenge.

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This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in International Journal of Palliative Nursing, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2015.21.3.109

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