Palliative Care Nursing Development in the Middle East and Northeast Africa: Lessons From Oman

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Nurses are on the frontline of palliative care, and in some countries, are the only contact for patients and families facing life-threatening illness. The Oman Cancer Association in the Sultanate of Oman, in collaboration with the Middle Eastern Cancer Consortium and the Oncology Nursing Society, led a palliative care initiative over the past decade to better integrate palliative care into the health care system. Components of this initiative include integrating palliative care into the health care curricula and providing palliative care education to over 400 nurses and other health care professionals within Oman. The four-part education series includes the following courses: (1) Foundations of Palliative Care, (2) Advanced Concepts in Palliative Care, (3) Palliative Care Leadership, and (4) Palliative Care Research. Additional participants from 17 different countries in the Middle East and northern Africa also attended the training. Twenty of the trainees who were considered palliative care leaders in their countries then participated in a Train the Trainer course. This group trained the last cohort of health care professionals in Oman and then took learned concepts and strategies back to their respective countries in order to provide country-wide education and build palliative care capacity in the region. Outcomes include the development of palliative care units, quality improvement projects that improved care, and advocacy projects to increase opioid availability within some countries. The collaborative continues its work and connections through social medial, email, and virtual col- laboration. Other countries can use this model to permeate palliative care within their regions.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Cancer Education