Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


This study examined home-care nurses’ knowledge and perceived preparedness to counsel patients on advance directives (ADs). Joyce Fitzpatrick’s “life perspective rhythm” model provided the framework for the thesis. Sixty-two registered nurses actively practicing in home-care in West Michigan were surveyed over a 4-week period. Each nurse completed a 16-question survey, which included an 11-question true-false test of knowledge of ADs. Survey results indicated that nurses who feel prepared to counsel patients are more knowledgeable than those who do not feel prepared to counsel (t=2.89, df=57, p=<0.05). Overall knowledge was high (87.4%) but only 40 nurses (64%) felt prepared to counsel patients on ADs. The study implies that factors other than knowledge may have an impact on preparedness to counsel. Possibilities for further study include more research on education of healthcare providers about ADs, patient education, and the need for mutual discussions on end-of-life care issues in relationship to completing ADs.


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