Master of Science in Nursing Theses

Date Degree Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)



Committee Chair

Sharon Christman, Ph.D., RN, FAHA

Second Committee Member

Joy K. Higginbotham


Spiritual care education, hospice nurses, spritual need, competence, spiritual assessment


Background: There is a well-documented relationship between spiritual care and improved quality of life for hospice and palliative care patients. However, nurses report that they receive little education on how to provide spiritual care. This lack of education results in nurses’ reluctance to provide spiritual care for their patients.

Theoretical Model: The Faith-Hope-Love Model of Spiritual Wellness (FHLMSW) provides a theoretical understanding of the human spirit, spirituality, spiritual wellness, and spiritual needs.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use the FHLMSW to examine the effects of spiritual care education on Hospice Nurses’ competence on how to assess and implement spiritual care with their patients.

Method: The study employed a pretest posttest quasi- experimental no control group design, with a convenience sample of 49 hospice nurses. Participants completed the Spiritual Care Competency Scale (SCCS) before and after a 45 minute spiritual care education in-service. Paired t-tests were used to determine differences between pretest and posttest scores.

Results: Paired t-test revealed statistical significant on two of the six core domains of the SCCS which were; professionalism and improved quality of care (p=0.000) and personal support and patient counseling (p=0.01). There was also a significant change in two knowledge questions developed by the researcher (p=.00). There was a trend toward a significant improvement in referral (p=0.06) and assessment and implementation (p=0.15) scores.

Relevance to Nurses: A proper understanding of spiritual care and its importance could assist the Hospice nurse in detecting the unmet spiritual needs of patients to facilitate good quality of life and achieve a peaceful and dignified death.

Conclusion: The findings of this study provide preliminary evidence that spiritual care education using the FHLMSW can give effective direction to nurses on providing spiritual care as well as increase their confidence in providing spiritual care.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Nursing Commons



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