Need info about becoming a hospice nurse

Specialties Hospice


I was wondering if anyone could give me some info. I am an LPN but haven't worked as one in 4 years and actually I have minimal med/surg experience. Most of my experience is in assisted living.

For the past 4 years I have been working as a certified massage therapist. I love being a massage therapist, I think because I can focus all my energy on one person at a time, unlike a hospital setting. That was just overwhelming to me. Anyway, I would like to get back in to nursing. Hospice nursing really interests me. I think I could incorporate both skills. question....

Do they use LPNs for hospice or do you have to be an RN? What kind of refresher courses should I take to be a hospice nurse?

Are there any actual hospice nurse courses? My license is still active but I don't feel confident enough in my skills.

Where do I start? -Thanks!

aimeee, BSN, RN

932 Posts

We do use massage therapists now and then but we have no LPN's on staff. Even if there are some hospices that hire LPNs, I am doubtful that your assisted living experience is adequate preparation for hospice work. If you really want to do this type of work then consider going back for that RN and spending a little time in oncology first. A LTC skilled unit would also help.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,072 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

To get your feet wet, you could be a Hospice volunteer and offer your massage services. It will give you some idea oabout Hospice.

Unless you have a very large program in your area, most employ RN's for home management. Our local hospice does have a freestanding in-patient unit that is primarily staffed by LPN's and similar to assistive living. So inquire in your area.


3 Posts

NRS Karen,

Thank you so much for your reply. It is very encouraging and it does sound like a good place to start. I hadn't even thought about getting involved that way! Thank you so much! Your reply has really given me enthusiasm! xo


155 Posts

I was a Hospice nurse in two different states, only Rn's were used. We only had LPN's in NY work in the office. They were assigned to handle incoming calls from the patient/MD or families only. In turn they would call the RN in the field, The LPN could take orders, but a RN had to co sign. Tex


140 Posts

The hospice I work at uses LPNs a lot. They have a fair amount of autonomy and report to RN team leaders. There are some things only the RN can do, but the LPNs see many patients and are respected members of the hospice team. Suggest you look around for a hospice that values your commitment to the work -- sounds like you already have the commitment and motivation. They can teach you the skills.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Karen that is a good idea on the volunteer. I do that and have for over 10 years and I love it! I also have done hospice. Some hospices use LPNS. Did you know my hubby is a director of a rural hospice. They have a contract with a massage therapist. Might be something worth looking into.....



324 Posts


I see you are in Philadelphia, I just got a mailing from Wissahickon Hospice saying that they are looking for RN and LPN nurses. I'm sure you can find the phone number in the book. It doesn't cost anything to talk to some one there, heck, you may even get an offer. Good Luck


13 Posts

I work with over 400 hospices all over the U.S. If you are in Philadelphia here are some numbers:

Wissahickon Hospice:(215) 247-0277

Jefferson Hospice:(610) 526-3265

Chandler Hospice:(215) 860-4000

VITAS Philadelphia: (610) 260-6020

These are just a few. If you have any questions about locating a specific hospice or are inquiring about the hospice staff, feel free to ask.


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