Compassionate, competent, and holistic care is at the core of palliative care nursing. Knowledge of primary palliative care concepts is a fundamental expectation of graduating nursing students. The release of updated national educational competencies in palliative care coupled with a new palliative care curriculum for prelicensure nursing students created a need to measure acquisition of new knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to describe development and psychometric evaluation of a new palliative care measure. Development of the new measure was guided by an expert team of palliative care educators, incorporating existing knowledge measures as well as content from the newly developed curriculum. A 4-step process resulted in development of a 27-item measure reflecting the 17 new core competencies for undergraduate palliative care education. Initial pilot testing in a sample of 262 nursing students demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.70), with a 2-factor model that aligns with multiple national expectations for primary palliative care. This study is the first to align knowledge items with national palliative care competencies and care domains. Further psychometric testing will be conducted as well as large multisite research collaborations to test curriculum implementation and use this knowledge measure in prelicensure nursing education.
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