The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project is ending 2020 by surpassing a goal established 20 years ago, reporting more than 1 million nurses and other professionals trained using the ELNEC curriculum. Administered through a partnership between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and City of Hope, ELNEC achieved this significant milestone in November, which has been designated as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
To date, 39,915 individuals have attended an ELNEC train-the-trainer course, which prepares individuals to provide state-of-the-art education in palliative care. These trainers have now reached 1,256,506 professionals by providing their own educational offerings in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Responding to the Pandemic
This milestone of more than 1 million trained was possible due to many achievements over the past year. Betty Ferrell, PhD, principal investigator of the ELNEC project and Director of the Division of Nursing Research and Education at City of Hope, commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a national health-care crisis, and it also has made the need for palliative care very evident. Nurses caring for patients with COVID-19 faced critical needs for additional training in symptom management, communication skills, family support, and bereavement care as well as self-care. ELNEC worked tirelessly to provide this education.”
Betty Ferrell, PhD
Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN
This year, the ELNEC project moved quickly to meet the educational needs of nurses and nurse educators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As nursing schools converted to virtual learning, the ELNEC online curriculum was a valuable asset and has now been used in 757 undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, with more than 52,000 nursing students having completed the entire curriculum thus far. The ELNEC team also responded to the pandemic by creating a COVID-19 resource center on the ELNEC website, which provides nurses with extensive tools, COVID-19 teaching resources, symptom management guides, and other materials. Another emergent need was support for nurses who were new graduates and beginning their careers amid the pandemic. ELNEC has partnered with Vizient to integrate ELNEC training into the orientation of new graduates for their 600-member hospitals.
“AACN applauds Dr. Betty Ferrell and her team for the global impact ELNEC has had on improving care for individuals at their most vulnerable,” said AACN President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As we look to 2021, we know ELNEC will continue to adapt and thrive as the nursing community confronts COVID-19 and serves the palliative care needs of patients and their families.”