Article Content

Annual Report Summary

As we review the past year of accomplishments, 2008 was a busy year for each of our sister organizations. In an effort to "go green" in 2009, we are offering a brief summary of our accomplishments as detailed below and encouraging interested individuals to go to any of the four Web sites (,,, and to see the entire report.


HPNA. While membership growth stayed relatively constant, the work of the organization grew immensely. Three new educational products were released, seven were revised, and three completely new ones are under way. New teaching sheets and TIP sheets were released. A new resource for nursing assistants called a "Quick Information Sheet" was initiated on Congestive Heart Failure. The Clinical Practice Forum focused on "Taking Care of People Who Are Not Like Me," and the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly in Tampa Bay was the largest ever, with more than 2000 attendees. Eight awards were presented, and seven chapters were awarded their charters for 2007. The highlights of the year were the approval and release of the 2009-2012 Research Agenda, the development of the State Ambassador Program for Public Policy, securing of a second official journal in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, and initiation of the new Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing (FPCN) program. Through the feedback of the well-received membership survey, the year ended with strategic thinking and the development of a 4-year strategic plan.


NBCHPN. Tremendous growth occurred with certification during their 15th anniversary year. As of December 2008, there are more than 17,300 certified hospice and palliative care professionals. Computer-based testing was very well received, and the new administrator examination was offered in September 2008 for the first time. Three awards were presented at the Annual Certification Luncheon in Tampa, FL. More than 2000 certificants responded to a comprehensive survey providing valuable feedback for future planning. The board is currently exploring advanced methods of measuring ongoing clinical competence and growth, seeking recertification to be instituted, hopefully, in 2010.


HPNF. Despite experiencing major economic crises in 2008, the foundation has worked diligently to increase unrestricted giving as it seeks to grow the programs and resources for the future. Five chapter educational grants, three individual educational scholarships, two conference scholarships, and five certification scholarships were awarded. The PDIA Leadership Award and the Sigma Theta Tau International Grant were awarded to two outstanding candidates. Three Florence Wald Fellows Cultivation Dinners were held, increasing the total number of Florence Wald Fellows to 12 at this time. Through outside consultations and strategic planning, the 2009 board stands ready to grow and expand with its new mission statement: "The mission of HPNF is to raise funds to support quality of life in persons experiencing serious illness through advancing nursing excellence." We have more than 385 individuals and corporations who have generously donated over the past year to thank for the success of 2008.


The Alliance. Following a very successful summit held in March 2008 with eight collaborative partners, The Alliance produced a white paper to discuss its future directions. One such direction was to reach out to consumers, and this was accomplished by completing the filming of a PSA to be aired in 2009. The year culminated with the development of a 4-year strategic plan mapping the future for this overarching organization that represents the unified voice of the sister organizations.


We look forward to success in 2009 individually and collectively.


HPNA's Research Agenda

Evidence-based research defines the standard in which we practice. Being in a specialty that is relatively new, there is a paucity of evidence collected to date particularly concerning hospice and palliative nursing. In 2007, the HPNA Board of Directors asked the HPNA Research Committee to develop a research agenda to move us forward. To that end, the Research Committee submitted a draft plan to the HPNA Board in July 2008 that was approved.


The 2008 Research Committee, who worked so diligently on this assignment, consisted of Drs Meg Campbell, Mary Beth Happ, Todd Hultman, Karin Kirchhoff, Mimi Mahon, M. Murray Mayo, Susan McMillan, and Barbara Raudonis (chairperson). Jane Sidwell, the 2008 HPNA president, and Dena Jean Sutermaster, the HPNA director of education and research, also served on the committee bringing the HPNA Board's and organization's perspectives to the committee.


Dissemination plans are the next step. Anticipating the importance of dissemination generated the decision to submit an abstract to the 2009 Annual Assembly Educational Planning Committee. The abstract was approved and presented in Austin, TX, at the annual assembly. An article was submitted to JHPN detailing the content of the formal document. Finally, the document was formally printed and disseminated to all interested attendees of the annual conference presentation. This document is also available for review on the HPNA Web site.


The primary directions of the document encourage researchers to focus on one major disease entity (congestive heart failure) and three common palliative care symptoms: constipation, dyspnea, and fatigue. As we work to improve palliative care nursing, the HPNA encourages researchers to develop research projects with these issues in mind. The HPNA encourages all clinicians to participate in research studies when possible and advocate for their patients to participate when the opportunities arise. What a wonderful way to improve care through the scientific scrutiny of research questions posed about that care.


HPNA Advanced Practice Mentoring Program-for Members, by Members!

The HPNA Advanced Practice Mentoring Program is a yearlong mentoring program focused on developing a member's role as a palliative care APN. Because the HPNA believes that expert mentoring is the best way for advanced practice nurses to improve their skills in the field of palliative care, the HPNA has created this program to develop administrative and clinical skills for APNs who want to expand their skills in the field of palliative care and to apply those skills in the world of clinical practice. Experienced APNs will serve as mentors through individual and group learning experiences. Learn with the best!


Key features:


* One-to-one (telephone, online, or face-to-face) and group learning experiences


* Six online modules with CEUs addressing clinical and administrative topics


* Six complex clinical case studies for group discussion


* Individualized goals and action plan negotiated between mentor and mentee


* Kickoff leadership program at 2009 AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly-"Cultivating Palliative Advanced Practice Nursing Through Mentoring"



Deadline: The 2009 application has passed. For more information about future availability for participation, please contact Dena Jean Sutermaster, director of education, at


HPNA State Ambassadors Program: State Reports

In August of 2008, the HPNA Public Policy Committee (PPC) was in the process of seeking legislative and palliative care-related information from the state level. The PPC called upon the members of the HPNA State Ambassadors Program to summarize the end-of-life policy issues and any actions related to hospice and palliative care in their particular states. The State Ambassadors heard the call and delivered invaluable information. A small sample of the items covered in the reports can be found below.


Tennessee. At the state level we are following hospice rate cuts. New legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate that includes, among other provisions, a six month delay in the implementation of the rate cuts. The hospice provision in the Preserving Access to Healthcare Act of 2008 (or PATH), S. 3656, is very similar to the Medicare Hospice Protection Act. By simply shortening the delay period to 6 months (versus the 1-year delay in the Medicare Hospice Protection Act) and bundling the hospice provision with a handful of other important healthcare issues, the Senate has crafted a piece of legislation that could be passed this week under an expedited review process. - -Rhonda Perrin-Oakes, Tennessee State Ambassador


The State Ambassadors Program gives participants the opportunity to learn many different aspects of public policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Please take some time to review the full program description in the public policy area of the HPNA Web site at


Special Interest Groups

The HPNA Board developed the special interest groups (SIGs) as a way to promote networking among members with similar interests via e-mail (listserv). As an HPNA membership benefit, there are no additional fees associated with participating in the SIGs. Signing up for an SIG includes agreeing to the listserv rules or "etiquette." You must have an e-mail address to participate.


The current HPNA SIGs are the following:


* Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)-frequently asked questions from this SIG are posted in "Members Only"


* Cultural Diversity


* Geriatric


* Nursing Administration


* Nursing Assistant


* Pain


* Pediatric


* Public Policy


* Research



Want to sign up for one or more SIGs? Log in to the "Members Only" area of our Web site and visit the "Change My Information" tab. This is where HPNA members choose to join or remove themselves from SIGs lists.


HPNA Chapter Program: Leadership Weekend

There is a special weekend on the horizon that directly showcases the HPNA Board's ongoing commitment to supporting membership involvement in local chapters: HPNA Leadership Weekend. This dynamic and energizing weekend, which will be held on July 17-19, 2009, in Pittsburgh, PA, is currently being planned by district leaders, chapters' committee members, and HPNA staff. The intent of the Leadership Weekend is to share information about the integrated chapter model requirements and problem solve with other chapter representatives in the areas of membership recruitment, programming, and communication. Weekend activities also present an invaluable opportunity to meet and interact with the HPNA Board of Directors.


In 2008, a total of 45 HPNA chapter/provisional group members from across the United States attended the Leadership Weekend. Of the 28 HPNA chapters, 26 had at least one representative attend the event. Eight provisional groups had at least one representative attend the weekend, which is the highest amount since the beginning of the HPNA Leadership Weekend program. Five of the eight attending provisional groups went on to successfully apply for chapter charter status by early 2009!


Local chapter and qualifying provisional group leaders will be sent a complete packet of 2009 Leadership Weekend materials by late April. Leadership Weekend will continue to provide strong local leaders and a bright future for HPNA. For additional information regarding the HPNA Chapter Program, please visit


HPNF Confers Scholarships

Jan Jahner and Debra Bach King were awarded $200 Conference Scholarships to attend the annual assembly, and Bernadine Hillman, CHPNA, Carolyn Odell, CHPN, Michelle Goffinet,CHPLN, and Cynthia Leipold, ACHPN, received Certification Exam Scholarships in December 2008. Next deadline is June 1.


Donor Circles

Donor Circles have been established at the $1000 and $5000 levels in response to member requests for ability to make intentional gifts of a moderate size. These pledged gifts are payable over a 3-year term. Participants receive special recognition and strengthen the profession. Apply by contacting the HPNF director of development at 412-787-9301 or


Grant Application Deadline-June 1

$15,000 Certification Research Grant: Evaluate the impact of certification within any research topic that pertains to palliative care.


Chapter Grants: Six $500 awards offered.


Please read about all HPNF scholarships, grants, and awards on the Web site at


Florence Wald Fellows

Florence Wald was a founder of hospice nursing in the United States, and the Florence Wald Fellows program honors these beginnings. Fellows commit a gift of $10,000 to carry on her legacy through HPNF. Florence Wald Fellows are recognized in the HPNF Annual Report and on the HPNF Web site.



Board and Committee Positions

If you (or someone you know) are certified and interested in serving your profession and are committed to end-of-life care, you may want to consider applying for a position on the NBCHPN(R) Board of Directors or one of the five Examination Development Committees.


Great care is taken to select candidates from both hospice and palliative care backgrounds, representing various geographic areas of the country and with clinical expertise, management, and academic expertise. It is very important that a sufficient number of qualified individuals apply to ensure the ongoing leadership for the certification process and accomplishment of the goals of the organization.


Certificant of the Year Awards

The NBCHPN(R) offers Certificant of the Year Awards for certified individuals at all four levels of nursing and for the administrator: ACHPN(R), CHPN(R), CHPLN(R), CHPNA(R), and CHPCA(R).


Award recipients receive their awards at the Certification Recognition Event during the AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly.


Apply now for an NBCHPN(R) volunteer position or nominate a deserving individual for one of these prestigious awards. Please contact the National Office at 412-787-1057 via telephone,, or our Web site at for an application. All applications and award nominations are due to the National Office on June 1, 2009.