Spiritual Care as a Core Component of Palliative Nursing

Megan Miller, Megan Miller is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. Katie Addicott is a palliative care NP at Maine Medical Center, Portland. William E. Rosa is an assistant attending behavioral scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City. Contact author: Megan Miller, miller89@wisc.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
Katie Addicott
William E. Rosa


Spirituality is one aspect of the human experience that is unique to each person and may become especially important in the face of life-threatening illness. While evidence supports the need to address spirituality as part of holistic palliative care nursing, it is hoped that "spiritual care" will not become another item on nurses' to-do list, but rather will be part of nurses' everyday lives and nursing practice. Taking time to assess personal needs, and consciously connecting to meaning, hope, and peace, can support nurses' return to the deeper roots of nursing. Addressing spirituality as part of palliative nursing care can also acknowledge the complex and multidimensional experiences of the patients that nurses serve. Connecting, or reconnecting, with nurses' unique sense of spirituality can serve as a powerful resource for resilience. This article highlights the relevance of spiritual care to palliative nursing and offers practical tips to incorporate spiritual care into everyday nursing practice.