Shenandoah University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate, Tammy Martin ’22, ’17, DNP, had her first article published in the December 2022 issue of the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, the official journal of the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association. The article, “Every Dying Patient Should Experience a Peaceful Death: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Assessing the Benefits of Palliative Care Training on Nursing Practice” is based on her DNP project of the same name.
When asked what inspired her to do this project, she said, “when I was a young nurse back in 2005-2006, I noticed new nurses not knowing what to do with a dying patient and people were dying a distressed death, which bothered me more than anything. Most students aren’t taught in nursing school how to take care of dying people. They’re taught how to treat people to get better and you go through nursing school thinking you’re going to save everybody and that’s just not how it is.” Those early experiences set the course for her entire nursing career. She eventually entered the nurse practitioner program at SU in 2014 with the goal of becoming an end of life hospice or palliative care nurse practitioner. She later returned to SU for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program with the intent of training nurses in end-of- life palliative care.
Her DNP project was well received from the nurses who participated. What set her project apart is that it used the voice of the nurse as the measuring tool for success. The nurses gave exceptional feedback about how their practice had changed for the better because of the training. At the conclusion of her project, she took the results to the hospital’s education department and it implemented her palliative care training, which is now mandatory for new nurses entering the hospital system.
Now that her DNP schooling is done, she hopes to focus on expanding the training to other hospitals within the same hospital system, as well as implement additional training above and beyond the mandatory training for the new nurses. She said she’s also open to teaching palliative care one day if the opportunity arises.
Her article can be found in the December 2022 issue of Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing