Kanarek Center for Palliative Care

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Transforming Nursing Education

Fairfield University is pleased to announce the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education, which is housed in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. This Center of Education officially opened fall of 2017 and offers a comprehensive, integrated curriculum that provides students and nursing professionals the education needed to be leaders in palliative care. The aim of the Center for Palliative Care is to facilitate high quality, evidence-based, quality-of-life focused services for patients with serious illnesses or injuries and their families.

The Center is made possible by the generous leadership gift from Fairfield University trustee and alumna, Robin Kanarek ‘96 RN, BSN, of the Kanarek Family Foundation. To learn more about the Kanarek Family Foundation, please visit kanarekfamilyfoundation.org.

Please read our Thinkspace articles about the future of Palliative Care.

Vision And Mission Statements


The Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education will be a center of excellence for evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care education. Our distinguished faculty and staff seek to transform palliative care by developing the next generation of specialized leaders in the field and ensuring that all nursing graduates, and nurses in our partnering healthcare facilities integrate high quality palliative healthcare into clinical practice. We further seek to generate consumer- and provider-driven communication that serves as a regional and national resource to inspire understanding of best practices in palliative and end-of-life care.


To advance nursing leadership and foster interprofessional collaboration that enhances the lives of patients and families in palliative and end-of-life care through education, administration, practice, research and policy. We strive to achieve this mission by:

  • Educating to promote curative, carative, holistic evidence-based practices.
  • Respecting patients’ rights throughout the trajectory of serious illness.
  • Promoting access to compassionate and high quality palliative healthcare.
  • Incorporating the dimension of spirituality in care as a tool for comfort and relief for all patients

Robin Kanarek, ’96, RN, BSN in Dying in America: Nurses Leading the Conversation
directed by award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Jones.

Robin Kanarek ’96, RN, BSN, chair of the Kanarek Center of Palliative Care Nursing Education has been a registered nurse since 1979 and has worked in the clinical areas of cardiology, spinal cord injury, physical rehabilitation, and diabetes education. She is the president of the Kanarek Family Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2006 to honor the memory of her son, David, who died in 2000 following a battle with leukemia.

End-Of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Program

The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is offering education for nurses based on the End-of- Life Nursing Education Consortium's (ELNEC)© curriculum. The Project is a national end-of-life educational program administered by City of Hope (COH) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) designed to enhance palliative care in nursing.

There are six, 120 minute sessions, covering eight topics: Palliative Nursing Care; Pain Management; Symptom Management; Ethical Issues; Cultural and Spiritual Considerations; Communication; Loss, Grief, and Bereavement; and Final Hours.

Presenters have attended ELNEC training seminars, and are knowledgeable in the content areas they will be teaching. Materials such as power points, case studies and references will be distributed to participants.

The program will be offered at Fairfield University's Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education beginning in the spring of 2018. Participants attending all six sessions will receive ELNEC certificates of completion. Registered Nurses will receive up to 12 contact hours through the Ct Nurse’s Association.

The cost is $1500 per institution, which allows for a maximum of 30 attendees for the one fee of $1500. However, agencies that have only several individuals who wish to attend may sign up individuals for a cost of $150.00 per person.

Session dates vary. Please contact Eileen O'Shea for more information at eoshea@fairfield.edu

Undergraduate Curricula Offerings

As recommended by the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) has been utilized to enhance our undergraduate nursing curricula. ELNEC Modules and innovative simulation scenarios have been integrated into selected courses beginning in the spring of freshman year and continue throughout senior year spring semester. For information regarding this national educational program and recommendations for this critical nursing education see.

Looking for Graduate Programs?

Advisory Board

The Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education Advisory Board is comprised of distinguished professionals with interests in healthcare and nursing.


Browse our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about Palliative Care.

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Contact Us

Director, Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education
(203) 254-4000 ext.2703


To support the initiative, contact:
Karen Kaiser
Director of Development for Nursing and Health Studies
(203) 254-4000 ext.3258

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