The Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse is specialized in treating patients while they are dealing with end of life issues, usually in a setting outside of the hospital. Many of these nurses work for hospice organizations and also help with making community resources available. The family of the dying patient is also helped by the Hospice and Palliative Nurse.
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In order to take the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse exam, the applicant must be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse. It is recommended that the RN complete at least 2 years of employment caring for patients with end of life issues. There are no specific continuing education credit hour requirements.
The exam consists of 150 questions and 3 hours are allotted to complete the exam. The cost of the exam is $295 for members of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) and $395 for non-members. The exam is offered twice a year, in March and September, and the testing location is mailed to the applicant along with their admission ticket.
The exam consists of questions on all of the major body systems in regards to changes that are seen toward the end of life. The management of these symptoms is the primary focus of the RN who is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse. Pain is also a major issue with the dying patient and approximately one-quarter of the exam consists of questions testing the RN’s knowledge of management of pain in the dying patient. Issues with caring for the families along with professional issues are also components of the exam.
Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse certification is valid for 4 years. The fee for renewal is $260 for HPNA members and $360 for non-members. The RN must retake the examination in order to maintain Hospice and Palliative Nurse certification.