Although education is an important factor regarding competent end-of-life care, varying educational strategies occur within pre-licensure nursing curricula without evidence as to what strategy is most effective for the learner. The aim of this study was to generate a holistic understanding of Mexican American baccalaureate nursing student experiences of providing end-of-life care and to solicit experience-based approaches to adequately prepare those students to care for dying persons. An integrative review of the literature was completed to summarize the current evidence of pre-licensure nursing educational strategies that affect nursing students’ attitudes toward care of the dying. A concept analysis of a good death for the Mexican American community was completed with the aim of clarifying the concept to determine how to enhance effective end-of-life care within cultural contexts.

As few studies address student perspectives regarding their own culture when planning or implementing educational strategies regarding end-of-life care, a qualitative study using interpretative phenomenology was conducted. Twelve Mexican American baccalaureate nursing students were interviewed with in-depth, semi-structured focus groups. Data analysis occurred using the interpretive steps of hermeneutic research. Findings from the study revealed four major themes: (1) unprepared for the reality and routine of death, (2) the joy and sorrow of care at the end of life, (3) present day influenced by the past, and (4) the impact of realism and sharing experiences. By understanding the lived experience of Mexican American nursing students who have provided end-of-life care, it will provide the groundwork to allow educators to create appropriate educational strategies.

Date of publication

Summer 8-12-2020

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Gloria Duke, Dr. Jerri Post, Dr. Guillermina Solis


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Included in

Nursing Commons