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Groundbreaking ELNEC Program Reaches New Milestone

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Hosts
100th Course on Providing Excellent Palliative Care Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 21, 2012 — Dedicated to enhancing end-of-life care through nursing education, the ELNEC Consortium has reached a new milestone by hosting its 100th train-the-trainer program in Los Angeles on January 26 and 27, 2012. Over 200 nurses, physicians, social workers, and chaplains attended this landmark event, which attracted participants from 28 states and 4 countries (Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan). Four ELNEC courses (Core, Pediatric Palliative Care, Geriatric, and Critical Care) were held simultaneously to meet the unique needs of those working in acute care hospitals, hospices, homecare agencies, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities, clinics, and schools of nursing.

To date, over 13,380 nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team have attended national/international ELNEC courses over the past 11 years, with the sole purpose of improving care to those with life-threatening illness. The first national ELNEC train-the-trainer course was held in January 2001, in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in Washington, DC and City of Hope in Duarte, CA. This partnership continues today.

Following the development of the ELNEC-Core curriculum, program leaders soon identified the need for course content that addressed the distinctive care needs of neonates, children, young adults, middle-aged, and geriatric patients.  ELNEC-Pediatric Palliative Care was developed in 2003, and ELNEC-Geriatric held its first national course in 2006. Given the strong interest in ELNEC content focused on patients in emergency rooms, intensive care, coronary care, and burn units, the first ELNEC-Critical Care course was held in 2006 to meet the needs of the chronically ill and those who suffer from acute illness and/or injuries.  In 2010, the first of six ELNEC-For Veterans courses was presented, with support provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2011, ELNEC-For Public Hospitals was developed to meet the unique needs of those working in public hospitals, with very little resources to care for the poor, homeless, prisoners, etc. 

Although content was originally designed to be used within the United States, ELNEC trainers have taken the curriculum to other parts of the globe, as they studied/taught abroad or had opportunities to travel to countries through various organizations. In 2006, the ELNEC-International curriculum was developed to meet the specific and exceptional needs of those living in other countries with limited healthcare resources. To date, the ELNEC curriculum, which has been presented in 73 countries, has been translated into 5 languages—German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Translation into several other Eastern European languages also is taking place. 

“Though originally funded to provide five national ELNEC courses, we are thrilled to have had such strong interest and additional support from stakeholders who recognize the intrinsic value of this ground-breaking nursing education initiative.  Having  the privilege to offer 100 ELNEC courses around the world is much more than we ever dreamed possible back in 2001,” stated Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO and Executive Director of AACN.

“It has been so encouraging to see nurses and other healthcare professionals attend an ELNEC course and envision better care and have the tools in hand to promote palliative care in their institution,” said Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FPCN, research scientist at City of Hope and Principal Investigator of ELNEC.  “Education is the key to promoting this care, as no one can practice what they do not know.” 

For more information about ELNEC, go to


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.

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 690 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