How to become a Hospice Nurse

  1. 2
    I am a new LPN and I am going back to school for my BSN this fall. I have a huge interest in becoming a Hospice Nurse and I wanted to know if you have to get any sort of special certifications etc.

    Thanks
    MamaStacey and Joe V like this.

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  2. 8 Comments...

  3. 1
    I have an A.A.S in Nursing. My first job out of nursing school was as a RN Case Manager in hospice care. Some companies require 2-3 years of experience in med-surg or palliative care. Don't be discouraged just apply for jobs even if you don't have the requirements they are asking for. Good luck!
    Mrsearly2009 likes this.
  4. 1
    I guess it may very from state to state, or agency to agency, but I'm in Alabama and just got a job as a Hospice RN. I don't have any special certifications. I do have hospital experience, which is usually required and highly recommended, but I haven't been asked about certifications. There is a one you can get, and I will probably work toward it, but as far as I know it's not required.
    Mrsearly2009 likes this.
  5. 1
    There is a cert called chpn (certified hospice/palliative nurse) where I work you make a dollar more an hour if you have it. I work for a hospice doing intake and we require 2 yrs experience.
    Mrsearly2009 likes this.
  6. 1
    When I wrote my 5 year plan for school, my goal was to be in hospice. I didn't pay attention to certification, but I did think about other work that would serve as a good foundation: med/surg, pain management, mental health, community health, and critical care. I think the MH is especially important given what the pt and family are going through once they get to hospice. I suppose I would get certified as well, but that doesn't happen until you have the actual job, so I concentrated on what I'd need to get the job in the first place.
    Mrsearly2009 likes this.
  7. 1
    The cert comes after you have been working for 2 years or more. There are some CEU type offerings you might look for, after you get your RN.

    Best wishes!
    Mrsearly2009 likes this.
  8. 0
    Thank you so much everyone!!!
  9. 2
    as a hospice nurse for 10 years- i believe the most important thing needed to work in hospice care, is a heart and the desire to help patients and their families achieve their end of life goals- It is strongly recommended, though that med surg, oncology or geriatric experience helps- as often you are very often working autonomously and need sharp assessment and symptom management skills, certification comes by taking the national exam after you have hospice experience
    Kerrimundhenke and Mrsearly2009 like this.
  10. 4
    If I may put in my two cents...I am 45, and going back to school for nursing. I was a police officer for over 12 years prior to this - but I've been a CNA (as a primary or secondary job) since 1989. Most of my CNA years have been working in LTC and now AL entities...and primarily on the NOC shift. No matter your training - experience with dying patients is a must. I've met far too many "book intelligent" RN's who either have never worked as a CNA, or if they did - the experience never stuck. And no offense to the younger generation - but I truly believe that life experience trumps any certification you could muster. Law enforcement does not allow for people to become certified police officers until they turn (at the very least) 21 years of age....and there's a significant reason for that. Unfortunately - I think that such should most definitely be the case in nursing as well. I've met far too many young/inexperienced RN's with the personality and bedside manner of a gnat's ass. And yes, they were in Hospice Care. I agree with my colleagues who have stated that there is nothing wrong with moving toward the training - but definitely try to get experience under your belt as well! Good luck and many blessings for your commitment.
    h113, crispycritter, softrbreeze, and 1 other like this.


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