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Palliative care continues to be a specialty that is not clearly understood by healthcare providers, patients, families, or society. Due to this it remains underutilized and does not get the attention it should. A review of literature supported this, and strongly recommended future research be conducted. There is research and data to support early palliative care referrals in addition to standard oncology care, but there is more needed. Palliative care referrals need to be made early in the diagnosis of advanced cancer or cancer with metastasis. These services and resources are extremely beneficial and offer many treatment pathways. The objective of this project was to create a more consistent, effective, and efficient early palliative care referral process. In doing so more palliative care referrals will be made and patients will receive the best care available. Nursing and palliative care complement each other therefore practitioners are the ones who will be on the front line handling the referrals. The palliative nurse practitioners will be a part of the care team from the beginning and support the patient for the entire course of treatment to end of life care.

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