Background: One of the strategies to promote the quality of palliative care in non-specialised settings is the appointment of palliative care nurse champions. It is unclear what the most effective model to implement the concept of nurse champions is and little is known about palliative care nurse champions’ own views on their role and responsibilities. This paper aims to describe views of palliative care nurse champions in hospitals and home care on their role, responsibilities and added value. Methods: In 2018, a qualitative interview study was conducted with 16 palliative care nurse champions in two hospitals and four home care organisations in the southwest of the Netherlands. The framework approach was used to analyse the data. Results: Most palliative care nurse champions described their role by explaining concrete tasks or activities. Most nurse champions perceive their main task as disseminating information about palliative care to colleagues. A few nurses mentioned activities aimed at raising awareness of palliative care among colleagues. Most nurses were to a limited extent involved in collaboration with the palliative care expert team. Hospital nurse champions suggested that more support from the palliative care expert team would be helpful. Most nurse champions feel little responsibility for organisational tasks and inter-organisational collaboration. Especially hospital nurses found it difficult to describe their role. Conclusion: The role of palliative care nurse champions in hospital and home care varies a lot and nurses have diverging views on palliative care in these settings. Comprehensively fulfilling the role of palliative care nurse champion is a challenge. Careful selection, training, support and task descriptions for nurse champions are needed to make the concept of nurse champions work in palliative care.

, , , , , ,,
BMC Palliative Care
Department of Public Health

Engel, M., van Zuylen, L., van der Ark, A. (Andrée), & van der Heide, A. (2021). Palliative care nurse champions’ views on their role and impact: a qualitative interview study among hospital and home care nurses. BMC Palliative Care, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12904-021-00726-1