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William F. Connell School of Nursing

New pediatric palliative care sub-specialty

connell school news


Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Patricia Tabloski has received a three-year competitive renewal from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund the addition of a pediatric concentration to the palliative care specialty at the Connell School. The funding will expand the existing palliative care curricula to develop advanced practice nurses' skills in pediatric palliative care.

Pediatric palliative care nursing is a specialty that seeks to prevent or relieve the physical and emotional distress of children living with serious chronic and/or life-threatening illness and their families through assessment and management of pain and other symptoms, provision of clear, culturally sensitive communication, and support in decision-making. Palliative care is designed to relieve, rather than cure, symptoms caused by a child's condition in order to help them live more comfortably and improve their quality of life. It is not limited to dying children, but is appropriate for all children with severe chronic conditions for which there is no cure.

The program will prepare graduates as advanced certified hospice and palliative nurses. Other goals are to expand upon and develop new linkages with community agencies that provide palliative care to children with serious chronic illness and their families, to improve access to expert, quality and comprehensive nursing care provided to racially and ethnically diverse children facing life-threatening illness, and to develop a program component that addresses cultural competence and sensitivity.