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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



ELNEC Celebrates 15 Years as a Leading Advocate for Enhancing Palliative Care

Published February 27, 2015

End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Celebrates 15 Years as a
Leading Advocate for Enhancing Palliative Care Worldwide

WASHINGTON, DC, February 27, 2015 – This year, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) is celebrating 15 years of promoting excellence in palliative care education. To date, over 19,500 nurses and other healthcare professionals – representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 85 countries – have attended an ELNEC train-the-trainer course, which provides a comprehensive set of teaching resources to better prepare health professionals to care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. The ELNEC project is administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in Washington, DC and the City of Hope in Duarte, CA.

“It has been remarkable to work with educators around the world and see them implement and disseminate ELNEC lessons and resources in a variety of ways,” stated Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, MA, CHPN, FPCN, FAAN, Principal Investigator of ELNEC and Professor and Director of Nursing Research and Education at City of Hope. “We are particularly grateful to see nursing faculty incorporating ELNEC content into nursing curricula, hosting regional training sessions to expand ELNEC’s reach into rural and underserved communities, presenting ELNEC at national and international conferences, coordinating community partnerships, and improving the quality of nursing care in so many innovative ways.”

In January 2000, AACN joined with the City of Hope Medical Center to develop a national education initiative focused on improving palliative care. Over the past 15 years, the project has provided undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty, continuing education providers, staff development educators, and nurses specializing in pediatrics, oncology, critical care, and geriatrics with education in palliative care so they can teach this essential information to nursing students and practicing nurses. The project was initially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) from 2000–2004, which supported the participation of more than 900 baccalaureate and associate degree nurse faculty in ELNEC training in the U.S. Although the initial RWJF grant ended in 2004, a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was secured in 2002 to meet the unique needs of faculty teaching in graduate nursing programs. Between 2003-2006, four NCI-funded ELNEC courses were held for 400 nurse educators representing every state and 65% of the nation’s graduate nursing schools. 

Since 2006, the ELNEC Project has been able to continue its work with funding provided by a broad array of supporters, including AACN, Aetna Foundation, Archstone Foundation, Cambia Health Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation, Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation, NCI, Oncology Nursing Foundation, Open Society, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Other ELNEC project milestones include the following:

  • With over 160 courses held to date, project leaders estimate that since its inception, ELNEC trainers have returned to their institutions and communities and trained over 500,000 nurses and other healthcare providers.
  • ELNEC has been translated into eight languages, including Spanish, Russian, German, Romanian, Albanian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
  • In addition to the ELNEC-Core training program, ELNEC curriculum has been adapted to provide training to nurses in a variety of specialty areas (Critical Care, Geriatrics, Oncology, Pediatric Palliative Care, Veterans), nursing roles (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Doctor of Nursing Practice [DNP] program faculty and clinicians, graduate program faculty) and practice settings (public hospitals).
  • In 2015, multiple train-the-trainer courses will be held across the U.S., including programs offered in Scottsdale, Arizona; Kona, Hawaii; Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Washington, DC. International courses will be held in Beijing, China; Kip Karen, Kenya; Brasov, Romania; Salzburg, Austria; and Tirana, Albania.

“AACN continues to be committed to supporting this unique partnership, which is enhancing patient care and nursing education on a global scale,” said AACN President Eileen T. Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Nursing faculty have found ELNEC training to be invaluable in their work to prepare the next generation of nursing leaders to care for the most seriously ill in our communities through education, research, clinical practice, and advocacy,” 

For more information about ELNEC, including details on upcoming courses, see the ELNEC homepage or contact ELNEC Project Director and Co-Investigator Pam Malloy, MN, RN, FPCN, at