hospice RN certification

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    Our director asks that each of the RN's, after two years employment, take the hospice certification test. Has anyone taken the test? What is the best way to study for it? And is it valuable? If we pass the employer will re-imburse for the test, otherwise not. Thanks for your input...I have learned so much thru your wisdom re: hospice nursing. Maggie
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  3. 20 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    i took and passed the chpn certification in 1998--it was tough, but if you both work in hospice and study, you should be fine. i used a written study guide and several of us at work did a weekly study group...
    weavrvirgorising likes this.
  5. 3
    I took the CHPN certification this year. I know that part of why I passed was that I had been in a palliative care fellowship (in a role that is usually that of a APRN, so I was exposed to a lot that I might not have been). That said, I went ahead and bought the study tool that they sell on the certification site (I think it's $35, and some of the $ goes to HPNA), and found it very helpful (for example, I worked in the VA, so I had limited familiarity with the medicare regs). One nice thing about the practice test was that they not only give you a score, but a probablity of passing the test from it. I also copied & pasted my answers so that I could then use it as a study guide.

    I really liked the new computerized testing system -- not only do you get instant results, but you get it broken out by subject area so it's good feedback.

    As to its value, well, it does give one (and one's agency) a certain increased credibility, and probably also looks good if you are ever looking for a position in another agency. As a learning experience, I think that depends. I took it partly b/c I am a doctoral student and my reseach is on EOL. My dissertation is w/i the context of people receiving hospice care, and I imagine I will continue to work with hospices and hospice nurses, as informants, a way of recruiting other participants, etc. As someone who is in a BS to PhD program and has been an RN for only about 5 years, I figured it gave me more credibility to be certified.

    A question for BlueRidgeHomeRN: you said you took the test in 1998. I know certification is only good for 4 years, but I also just noticed that you can recertify via CEs and other activities. Did you recertify? If so, did you take the test or do alternate certification? If you didn't recertify, would you say why?
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    i did not recertify, as i had changed fields and no longer was working as a hospice nurse..
    weavrvirgorising likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from blueridgehomern
    i did not recertify, as i had changed fields and no longer was working as a hospice nurse..
    ah. thanks. i have mixed feelings about the recert process. on the one hand, i understand that people need to keep current w/practice, but part of me feels like economics also play a role.
    weavrvirgorising likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from marachne
    A question for BlueRidgeHomeRN: you said you took the test in 1998. I know certification is only good for 4 years, but I also just noticed that you can recertify via CEs and other activities. Did you recertify? If so, did you take the test or do alternate certification? If you didn't recertify, would you say why?
    I recertified this year. I think it is pretty difficult to recertify unless you attend a big conference each year (such as one of the NHPCO conferences) or are going to school and can use your credits. It takes 100 credits and those are the easiest ways to rack them up.
  9. 0
    Quote from aimeee
    I recertified this year. I think it is pretty difficult to recertify unless you attend a big conference each year (such as one of the NHPCO conferences) or are going to school and can use your credits. It takes 100 credits and those are the easiest ways to rack them up.
    I noticed that a dissertation is worth 75 credits and I better have mine done before I need to recert!
  10. 0
    I am sorry to say.. i failed my certification today by only 1 question. i thought it was an extremely difficult exam.
  11. 2
    I have been a nurse, mostly in LTC/sub acute, for 26 years and was certified in gerontology in 1998. I thought that was a hard test then. But in June, after 4.5 years as a hospice nurse, I took the hospice cert test. THAT was harder than any other test I have taken and I tend to do well on multiple choice tests. I did well, but that is due to the studying I did with the Core Curriculum for the 2 months prior to the test. It is absolutely necessary to use that book, as I think most of the questions are based on it.

    Don't expect any "easy, we'll give you this one" questions. Since it is assumed that you have hospice experience, the questions are hard, and make you think and reason them out.

    Good luck!
    exnavygirl-RN and tewdles like this.
  12. 1
    I have just taken the exam and am happy to say that I passed it. I have only been a hospice nurse for just over a year but decided to take the test because I want to be the best I can be in my chosen field. We get little to no education at the hospice where I work so it's up to me to keep learning and up to date. Since becoming a hospice nurse I have read many books on death and dying which have been invaluable. To prep for the exam I bought the study guide and took the SAE questions available online through the CHPNA website but due to a heavy workload I didn't study as much as I should have! But I have to say, the best education has been experience gained from my pt load and from my patients themselves. No one has encouraged us to take the exam at my hospice and most people, nurses included, didn't even know that certification in our field existed. I didn't get any reimbursement or kudos for passing but I personally feel I learned a lot. Good Luck!
    SuesquatchRN likes this.


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