1. Lentz, Judy RN, MSN, NHA

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Guest Editor Letter


Led by the visionary leaders of the 1980s, HPNA has grown to be a highly visible, highly respected, and highly acclaimed specialty nursing organization for hospice and palliative nursing. As we end 2011, our 25th anniversary, which has also become my "Swan song" having served as the chief staff person for nearly 48% of those years, I would like to highlight what I consider the top 25 achievements reflecting our mission.




(1) Membership growth well over 10,000, with more than 50 chapters and 20 provisional groups


(2) Numerous position papers on critical topics


(3) Fellows program with more than 30 fellows in palliative care nursing


(4) Active special interest groups networking and supporting each other in practice


(5) Board development programs beginning with mentoring of volunteers through the committee structure, standing committee chairs, mentoring new board members, advance practice nurses, public policy advocates, and new researchers, other programs.


(6) Instituted in 2003, HPNA Leadership Weekend for chartered chapter and committee chair leadership development


(7) Legislative presence in Washington through Bryan Cave, Public Policy Ambassadors program, and dedicated Web pages to support legislative activity.


(8) Social networking, live chats, "Just a minute" messages


(9) Administrative home of the Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition and the National Consensus Project


(10) More than 300 member volunteers supporting the work of the organization annually




(11) Educational products numbering more than 30 currently


(12) Annual assembly cosponsored with American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine with more than 2000 attendees annually


(13) Annual Regional Conference called the Clinical Practice Forum; cosponsor of annual End of Life Nursing Education Consortium courses


(14) Learning management system with more than 30 Continuing Education webinars available


(15) More than 800 approved educators nationally


(16) Continuing education tracking mechanism for professional portfolio development


(17) Patient/family teaching sheets, nursing assistant TIP sheets, quick information sheets-most translated into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese


(18) Bimonthly Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing to increase to 8 issues in 2012


(19) Monthly electronic Journal of Palliative Medicine


(20) User-friendly Web site with nearly 20,000 hits per month




(21) The 2009 to 2012 Research Agenda, with that for 2012 to 2015 under development


(22) Research scholars program supporting novice nursing researchers in our specialty


(23) Research committee and special interest group


(24) The most phenomenal national office staff one could ever imagine to ensure that the day-to-day operations carry out the mission and strategic plan of the organization, and finally


(25) The 16 wonderful past presidents and the past 25 dedicated boards who annually volunteer hours of service to grow and develop the organization from the 35 members in 1986 to the outstanding organization we are today.


As with any life review, it has been humbling to review the life of this organization. It has been my honor to guide the operational end of this phenomenal growth for these past nearly 12 years. When recently asked what I am most proud of within the work that I have done with HPNA; I quickly answered, "The credibility, the visibility, and the presence that we have achieved as leaders in hospice and palliative care nursing across the nation. We have worked hard through osmosis to penetrate the walls of the nursing silos in which we coexist and have demonstrated the value of collaboration in many venues. We role model interdisciplinary education as well as interdisciplinary practice and have been true to our brand-leading the way."


The organizational life review would be incomplete without mentioning the years I have served as chief staff member to the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses, the HPNF, and the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing (the Alliance). These organizations have enjoyed equal success and growth and have provided hours of joy and pride to my professional life. I am ever so grateful to Barbara Head, who, with Molly Poleto, hired me in the spring of 2000. Many presidents and boards from these sister organizations have and always will hold special memories in my heart, and to all, I say thank you.


It is with deep gratitude that I say thank you to so many mentors that I have had along the way-Anne Hitchak, retired vice president of nursing from my previous role as an oncology clinical nurse specialist; Pearl Moore, retired Oncology Nursing Society chief executive officer; Chief Executive Officer colleagues Bonnie Niebuhr (American Board of Nursing Specialties), Mary Alexander (Infusion Nurses Society), and Paula Rieger (Oncology Nursing Society); Betty Ferrell, Diane Meier, Steve Smith, and Don Schumacher as colleagues who worked diligently beside me throughout these years; nine of the 16 past presidents who have been so gracious to expertly lead the boards while being so responsive to my continual needs-especially Molly Poleto, Connie Dahlin, Jane Kirschling, and Jane Sidwell and they know the reasons why; Michela Perrone as my patient coach; and to the many staff members who I have had the honor to supervise, many of whom have been long-time friends and will remain so forever. Working hard yet working proud has been our motto.


As I have said over the years, our train has an engine, a coal car, and many freight cars that have been climbing the palliative care hill. The engine and coal car went over the peak of the hill in 2004 when we served at the Administrative Home and finalized the National Consensus Project Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care. We have seen many freight cars go over the top of the hill since that time. What we do not know is how many freight cars do we have attached to our train. When will the cars already over the hill outnumber the cars yet to go causing the momentum of the front cars to speed up and rapidly pull the remaining cars over the top? Be ready, HPNA board, National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses board, HPNF board, and national office staff. It will not be long now. I hope I have prepared you for the exciting days ahead.


Judy Lentz, RN, MSN, NHA


Chief Executive Officer