Do you hospice nurses attend funerals of patients?


  • Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

Hi everyone. I just have a question for you all. Do you ever get invited by family members to attend the funeral of a patient you have been caring for? My mother is currently in hospice and the 2 nurses who attend to her are soooo sweet. My father asked me if it is appropriate to advise her nurses about her services once she passes. I have no idea what the protocal is on this situation so I figured I would ask you all. Thanks.

ErinS, BSN, RN

347 Posts

Specializes in Hospice.

I encourage you to ask. Although I personally I have never attended a pt's funeral (I am a visual reminder of the dying process, and I believe funerals should be a celebration of a persons life), I am touched when asked to attend.


286 Posts

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

Thank you so much for the imput. I also agree with funerals being a celebration of a persons life. My mother is a very spritual person, as is my father. Right now I am having conflicting feelings about even wearing black to her funeral because to me black symbolizes depression at a funeral. I will absolutely miss my mother, but she is just suffering now and I know once she passes she will once again be happy and out of her physical, painful bondage. She had 6 children, lived a happy life with my father, of which they just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in February, therefore I want to put my feelings aside on that day and celebrate her life. Wearing black just doesn't feel right to me. Anyway, God bless you for your giving heart to these hospice patients. That is also the direction I am thinking about going once I am finished with nursing school. Thanks again. *Joann*


144 Posts

We are encouraged to attend. Usually the social worker will ask when services are and they will send an email to everyone who was involved in that patient's care (CNA, Chaplain, Admission Coordinator, RN, etc.). Usually at least one of us will go, sometimes more.


4 Posts

Hi there, in my opinion it's perfectly appropriate to invite anyone on your hospice team to the funeral. I've attended a few of my patient's services and have always been warmly welcomed. In fact, the family members always express such appreciation to us for coming, while I'm busy thanking them for allowing to be a part of their loved one's care team. One of my patients passed away today and I definitely plan on attending his funeral.


286 Posts

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

That makes me so happy. The nurses caring for my mother are so incredible. I am glad to know it will be appropriate to invite them. Thank you all....

AtlantaRN, RN

763 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Hospice, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I personally do not attend funerals for our patients. 2 other nurses at my location do attend funerals. Im a weekend call nurse, so i pronounce the majority of our patients. I agree that a funeral is a celebration of life and i don't want to be that reminder of death.

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 14 years experience.

I think it is acceptable to attend funerals. However, in my 1 1/2 years of hospice nursing, I've only attended 2.

There are certain families that you will bond with, and it often gives them and you closure, especially if you've worked with the pt for several months and bonded with them and the family.

Our agency encourages us to attend, and will pay us for attending funerals, as long as it's during our scheduled work hours.

All the best,


Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Hospice. Has 10 years experience.

Hi there,

At our agency, we attend all viewings funerals. We coordinate this between sw/spiritual/rn/business development/administrator......sometimes more than one team member will go depending on relationships made. Our presence is always extremely well received. Families are very touched that we take the time to attend.

We feel that this is still our obligation to our patient/caregivers to continue to support them through the viewings/funeral. This practice is very helpful for our team, really brings closure to the team as well.


286 Posts

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

I love the feedback. My mother has been on hospice for 4 months now, so the nurse has been very involved and so wonderful. Thanks again. I will advise my father of all the advice and let him decide. But I think he will invite her. Thanks again.:heartbeat

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice. Has 15 years experience.

I usually attend the viewing (or visitation) that is held in the evening. We try to coordinate w/ the other staff so that at least one team member is present. Families are always so happy to see us and want to introduce us to all the extended family.

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

Our agency encourages the nurses (and other disciplines) to attend the visitations. One of the things that is troubling to families is the fact that their loved one dies and at the same time they lose all contact with the team that they bonded with. Visitation attendance helps both the family and the staff to experience "closure" of that relationship with less time requirement and social pressure for the hospice professionals.