Background: The palliative care approach was originally developed for hospice care and for persons with cancer diseases, but has gradually expanded to embrace other contexts and people of all ages, with various life-threatening diseases. The palliative care concept thus also applies to older people and the context of municipal care, where Registered Nurses (RNs) hold key care provision positions. The municipal context is not, however, focused primarily on advanced nursing care, and it is important to highlight RNs’ prerequisites for care provision. Aim: The study’s aim was to describe RNs’ experience of providing palliative care for older people in a municipal context. Data were collected through focus group discussions with 20 RNs from four different municipalities in southern Sweden and were analysed using conventional content analysis. Findings: The results showed that the nurses experienced that it was they who cushioned the effects of unclear responsibilities between different organizations, but had limited legitimacy in the municipal context and in relation to other care providers. The results also showed that nurses lacked proper support and prerequisites for providing high-quality palliative care to older dying patients. Conclusion: The results pinpoint the importance of increased acknowledgement of nurses’ knowledge and skills and a critical view on the effects of moving towards an organization composed of different consultants, which can lead to even more unclear responsibility for nursing care provision.
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