CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville-area patients in need of palliative care will now have nurses who are more informed. On Tuesday more than 80 nurses, practitioners, and even a chaplain learned about palliative care. It is all part of a national educational program to help explain more about the end of life care in nursing.

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) covered topics from pain and symptom management to the final hours of a patient's life. One organizer of this conference says palliative care is often misunderstood.

This kind of educational opportunity can help nurses, and therefore their patients come to terms with a regimen of care with a serious illness.

“These nurses downstairs are committed to helping patients and families find that quality of life as their living with disease and so they're really here for their patients,” said Clareen Wiencek, associate professor at UVA School of Nursing.

A majority of attendees at of Tuesday's consortium were able to be there for free, thanks to Mary Dixon, the chief nursing executive at UVA, who allowed nurses to come without a registration fee.