The impact of education and experience on death anxiety in new graduate nurses

Brisley, P.; Wood, L.-M.

Contemporary Nurse 17(1-2): 102-108


ISSN/ISBN: 1037-6178
DOI: 10.5172/conu.17.1-2.102
Accession: 068502606

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Anecdotal evidence suggests that new graduate nurses are ill prepared for their experiences with death. This study explores death anxiety and coping skills in registered nurses during their first year of practice. Participating nurses were undertaking a transition support program; the subject group attended a Death Issues Workshop while the control group did not receive any formal education on death issues during their program. Data collection was by semi-structured interviews and use of the Nurses' Attitude to Death Scale, a questionnaire developed by the researchers. Results indicate that the control group showed a greater reduction in death anxiety while the subject group demonstrated better coping skills in caring for themselves and their colleagues and were better equipped in providing care to patients and relatives. Recommendations are made for death issues to be explored more extensively during both undergraduate and postgraduate nurse education.