Hospice/Palliative care nursing certification

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    Hi - I'm an acute care nurse looking to transition into Hospice care. I've read some about Hospice and Palliative care certification and am looking for more information. Anybody out there have any info or advice? I'm looking for study materials etc. Thank you!
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    Go to the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Assoc. website. There you will find the links to becoming a member, the store where you can buy the Core Curriculum and the Study Guide, the handbook for the test and all kinds of other info. One of the suggestions for the test is to have at least 2 years of hospice nursing prior to taking the exam. It is not cheap, and is HARD! I had 4 years of hospice nursing under my belt (and 22 years of other nursing), studied hard for months prior to taking it and, although I was well prepared and did well, still wasn't sure I passed until the results were handed to me. You need to know the facts of the Core Curriculum, but really would have a very hard time passing unless you have actually worked as a hospice case manager.

    Certification is not a requirement to be a hospice nurse. It is a way of showing you are well versed in hospice nursing and take pride in the fact that you have that extra knowledge.

    Good luck and welcome to the club. In my humble opinion, we hospice nurses are a different breed of nurse. As my patients and families say all the time...it takes a special person to do what we do.
    MadeleineBinoche likes this.
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    The test is (or was when I took it) heavily oriented toward oncology. I had been an oncology nurse prior to hospice so that material was easier for me. Several nurses in my office took the test and failed. It really is a hard test.
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    Quote from TammyG
    The test is (or was when I took it) heavily oriented toward oncology. I had been an oncology nurse prior to hospice so that material was easier for me. Several nurses in my office took the test and failed. It really is a hard test.
    The tests are varied, with (I think) questions from 5 different aspects if hospice. I do remember ethics, medications, legal aspects, disease process...the test hand book breaks it down. And for each of the testing periods (there are 4 "test windows" each year) there are numerous individual tests. So the one you take may be heavy in oncology and the person next to you may have one heavy in disease process. Read the hand book, and when you feel you are ready, take the practice test. It cost $25, but will score you in each section and tell you how likely you are to pass each section. Very helpful un letting you know where you are still weak.
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    I took the exam after only 3 years of hospice CM experience. It was VERY difficult. It was more difficult than the boards from what I remember. My test was heavily laden with the areas of IDT, metastasis and cultural competency. I had only 2 math questions. They recommend having at least 2 years of hospice CM experience before you take the test. I would get the study materials even if you don't take the test. It will give you a jump-start on your new career. Good luck!
    Allison BS, RN, CHPN CM
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    Hi Melnee

    I have to agree with Oceansunset on this, I have been a Hospice & Palliative care RN for a number of years, both in the UK & USA. This is not an easy exam & I recommend that you have some practical experience before you undertake this exam. Some of the best materials you can find & just really useful information is right on this forum! There are so many interesting and helpful postings, good luck!
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    Just seeing this now. I highly recommend the practice test for 35$ on the hpna website, it is so worth it. It will let you know where your weaknesses are and give you a feel for the test. I passed mine last yr using the study guide/core curriculum guide and practice test from the HPNA website. Best wishes to you!
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    For those already holding CHPN status, there's another option. Complete ~24 continuing education credits per year plus extra requirements like presentations, community education. It might be less stressful than studying and taking the test.


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