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New Data Show that ELNEC Training Initiative Impacts End-of-Life Nursing Education Nationwide

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

New Data Show that ELNEC Training Initiative Impacts
End-of-Life Nursing Education Nationwide

First ELNEC Award Winners To Be Honored November 14, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2002 - The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), a national initiative to improve end-of-life nursing care, is having a significant impact on nursing education across the United States according to new data that examined the project's preliminary outcomes. Data show that nurse educators who received ELNEC training shared their new expertise with over 16,000 nursing students and/or clinicians, which greatly magnifies the reach of this project. Evaluations also show a greater emphasis on palliative care in nursing education programs and a stronger commitment to this subject matter by nurse educators.

Findings are based on 12-month evaluations from 203 of 214 participants (95% response rate) who attended the first two ELNEC training sessions for undergraduate faculty in 2001. The following milestones were achieved:

  • Nurse educators from all 50 states have attended ELNEC training.
  • Trainers gave 13,827 individual students an ELNEC education.
  • Beyond impacting undergraduate programs, over 43 percent of ELNEC trainers reported using the curriculum to teach an additional 2,585 nurses, including graduate students, nurses in clinical settings, and nurses attending continuing education programs.
  • Participants reported that end-of-life subject matter has been enhanced within their institution's curriculum. On average, 10.35 hours of instructional time has been added or modified using ELNEC content.
  • 85 percent of ELNEC trainers added new clinical sites to their education programs, including hospices, long-term care facilities, and other settings focused on end-of-life care, to strengthen student learning.
  • Demonstrating a deeper commitment to palliative care, 61 percent of program participants attended additional educational programs on palliative care following their initial ELNEC training.

These data reflect only the evaluations from the first two training cohorts. The ELNEC project has a had a significantly greater impact on nursing education since 10 additional courses have been offered and over 1,000 nurse educators have now received ELNEC training. Over the next few years, project leaders estimate that ELNEC-trained educators will touch the lives of 6 million patients and their families facing the end of life. Funded by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ELNEC is administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the City of Hope National Medical Center of Los Angeles.

ELNEC Announces Winners of First Annual Awards of Excellence

ELNEC project leaders are pleased to announce the winners of its first annual Awards of Excellence. The criteria used to select winners for this award were that they must 1) demonstrate excellence in implementing ELNEC curriculum within their nursing program or continuing education activity; 2) show creativity or innovation when incorporating ELNEC content into their teaching; and 3) share information about their progress as ELNEC trainers during a 12-month evaluation process. Twelve nursing school faculty members will be honored in a ceremony in November for their contributions to improving end-of-life nursing education at their school or clinical agency. Winners of the 2002 Awards of Excellence include:

  • Ruth Ann Britnall, MSN, RN, Grand Valley State University (MI)
  • Vicky Bowden, DNSc, RN, Azusa Pacific University (CA)
  • Kathleen Czekanski, MSN, RN, Thomas Jefferson University (PA)
  • Barbara Daniel, MEd, RN, Cecil Community College (MD)
  • Elizabeth Freeth, MSN, RN, University of Texas
  • Maureen Goode, MA, RN, Washtenaw Community College and University of Michigan Health System
  • Ann Pinner, MS, RN, Georgia Perimeter College
  • Linda Rodebaugh, EdD, RN, University of Indianapolis (IN)
  • Roberta Stoops, MS, RNC, Oklahoma State University
  • Sandra Walsh, PhD, RN, University of Miami (FL)
  • Shirley Woolf, MSN, RN, Indiana University
  • Melinda Zimmer-Rankin, MS, RN, St. Joseph's College (ME)

"These award winners have embraced the ELNEC project's goals and are changing the way end-of-life nursing care is being delivered across the country," said Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, research scientist at the City of Hope and principal investigator for the ELNEC project. "We are proud of these ELNEC trainers who are making great strides in sharing their expertise with a wide audience of nursing care providers."

Winners of the Awards of Excellence have used creative approaches to magnify ELNEC coursework in both the classroom and the practice setting. Awards will be presented at a ceremony held in conjunction with AACN's 2002 Baccalaureate Education Conference on November 14, 2002 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

"All of the award winners have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving patient care and advancing the nursing profession," added AACN President Kathleen Ann Long, PhD, RN, FAAN. "They have raised the bar on what can be done to educate others about end-of-life care, and we are proud of the shining example they have set for other ELNEC trainers."

For more information on award winners and the ELNEC project, visit the project's Web site found online at


City of Hope National Medical Center is an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution located just outside of Los Angeles. Designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. The Center's philosophy of Hope has inspired its health care experts to develop programs that focus on treating the whole person-their emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing-in addition to their physical care. It is this combination of patient-centered care, state-of-the-art treatment and groundbreaking research that has made City of Hope a leader in the fight against devastating diseases. Web site:

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 580 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231