The purpose of this study was to undertake a comprehensive assessment of each stage of the end-of-life process and the home care nursing needs of non-cancer patients. The total number of eligible patients was 117 in Korea and 121 in Japan, aged ≥ 40, receiving continuous home care nursing throughout the beginning, stable, and at final death stages and ultimately dying at home. The need for the ‘management of physical symptoms’ increased as patients progressed through the end-of-life stages to death. In both countries, the needs for ‘loss and grief care’ and ‘coordination among care team members’ were significantly higher in the stable stage than in the beginning or final death stages. Further research is needed to develop tailored nursing care programmes that meet the specific needs of patients in each stage of the end-of-life care at home.