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International End-of-Life Nursing Initiative Celebrates its 10th Anniversary and Reaches New Milestone in Palliative Care Education

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Press Release  
For Immediate Release

International End-of-Life Nursing Initiative Celebrates its 10th Anniversary and Reaches New Milestone in Palliative Care Education

ELNEC Project Has Educated More than 350,000 Nurses
and Other Care Providers in 67 Countries

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2011 – The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and reached a significant milestone in its work to enhance patient care through nursing education. In late January, ELNEC presented its 82nd training course, the largest to date, which attracted over 350 nurses and other professionals on the interdisciplinary team involved in providing palliative care. This landmark event was hosted by the University of San Diego (USD) Hahn School of Nursing, in partnership with Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH), and the ELNEC team, which consists of members from the City of Hope and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

“We are grateful for the opportunity to present the largest national ELNEC course in history and to use the San Diego model of collaboration between a nursing school and a healthcare institution to assist caregivers in improving palliative care,” said Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Principal Investigator of ELNEC. On January 13-14, 2011, this train-the-trainer course offered education in caring for patients throughout the lifespan, from neonates to the elderly with life-limiting illnesses. “The impact this will have on our community is immense, as 52 people attended from this city, representing 18 various hospitals, hospices, homecare facilities, long-term care/nursing homes, and schools of nursing throughout the San Diego region,” said Sally Hardin, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Professor at the Hahn School of Nursing

Four ELNEC curricula were taught simultaneously: ELNEC-Core, ELNEC-Critical Care, ELNEC-Geriatric, and ELNEC-Pediatric Palliative Care. “Our nurses and other interdisciplinary team members are much better prepared now to have difficult conversations with patients and their families, and will have more resources available to manage pain and symptoms so common at the end of life,” stated Brenda Fischer, PhD, RN, MBA, CPHQ, Director at the Center for Nursing Excellence at PPH. Those who complete these courses are able to take this information back to their institution and teach others. Participants were encouraged to bring community partners with them so they could learn to provide seamless care as patients and their families go from one facility to another.

To date, over 12,250 nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals engaged in providing palliative care have attended an ELNEC train-the-trainer course. In January 2001, ELNEC was presented for the very first time to 100 nurses in Pasadena, CA. Originally conceived as a three-year program as specified in the original Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, the program has thrived for 10 years. ELNEC has been presented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as 67 foreign countries, and the course material has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. These national and international trainers are estimated to have trained over 350,000 nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team to provide excellent end-of-life care.

For more information about the ELNEC project, visit

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The City of Hope 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 670 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