Article Content

The Official Journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association


National Consensus Project Update

In January 2005, the National Consensus Project (NCP) for Quality Palliative Care moved its administrative headquarters to the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Pittsburgh, PA.


In May, Ken Zuroski assumed the position of NCP Project Coordinator. Holding a master's degree in professional writing and a PhD in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University, Ken brings a variety of previous experiences in project management to the position.


In June, the NCP Task Force assembled an advisory committee of leading experts in palliative care, expanding its efforts to disseminate its Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care nationally. The interdisciplinary advisory committee comprises 34 experts representing a range of specialties in palliative care, including hospice, clinical practice, social work, psychiatry, ethics, religion and spirituality, pediatrics, and health policy. Working closely with NCP Task Force members, these experts provide advice, assistance, and support in disseminating the guidelines within targeted healthcare organizations.


The NCP continues to expand its Web site at The site offers much information about the NCP, including biographical sketches of advisory committee members as well as the guidelines themselves, which are available as a free download. If you have incorporated the guidelines into your clinical practice or have otherwise used them in innovative ways to enhance the quality of palliative care, the NCP would like to include your story on its Web site. Please call Ken Zuroski at 412-787-1002 or send an e-mail at [email protected].


HPNA Annual Membership Meeting

HPNA will host the Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, February 10, 2006, from 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM followed by a meeting of the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel during the 2006 AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly. Please mark your calendars. Visit our Web site ( for more details.


Begin Your Holiday Shopping Now

Get a head start on your holiday shopping with the following products:


* Conversations in Palliative Care: HPNA members, $40; nonmembers, $50 (see the Panorama section of this issue for a review of the book)


* Pediatric Pain and Symptom Management Algorithms for Palliative Care: HPNA members, $25; nonmembers, $30


* Symptom Management Algorithms: A Handbook for Palliative Care, 2nd ed.: HPNA members, $22; nonmembers, $25


* Treatment of End-Stage Non-cancer Diagnoses (Monograph): HPNA members, $15; nonmembers, $25


* Monthly APN Teleconference CD-ROMs, $30 each


* 2003-2004: All titles available


* 2005: Call the National Office for availability


* Monthly Clinical Nursing Teleconference CD-ROMs, $30 each


* 2002-2004: All titles available


* 2005: Call the National Office for availability


* Monthly Professional Growth CD-ROMs, $30


* 2004: All titles available


* Monthly Nursing Assistant Teleconference CD-ROMs, $30 each


* 2003-2004: All titles available


* 2005: Call the National Office for availability


* Monthly Nursing Assistant Teleconference CD-ROMs collections, $250 each


* 2003 (11 CDs)


* 2004 (11 CDs)



Order these products directly through HPNA at 412-787-9301. Pennsylvania residents add 7% sales tax to CDs. Visit the Web site at to view products.


Two Titles in the Compendium of End Stage Non-Cancer Diagnoses Series Now Available

The first two of seven titles in the Compendium of End Stage Non-Cancer Diagnoses series, Hepatic and Renal, are available for purchase. Five more titles will be released, focused on end-of-life care for patients with heart failure, HIV/AIDS, pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, and dementia.


Each of the books covers pathophysiology, assessment, early and late pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions, psychosocial aspects of care for both the patient and family, economic and ethical issues, and potential research issues/opportunities. A decorative case can be purchased from HPNA to house all seven compendia.


Leading the Way in Provider Communications

As a result of the generosity of Project on Death in America, funds have been made available to design a course module focused on physician/nurse communications. Dr Greg Miller and Dr Patricia Berry identified an area of concern in MD/RN communication in terms of assuring the outcome of those communications would be successful for all involved-the patient, the family, the nurse, and the doctor. A conceptual framework for this new course module is the acronym BASICS.












S-Successful Outcome


On Saturday, July 16, 2005, nine physician/nurse partners met in Pittsburgh, PA, during Leadership Weekend. With Dr Miller and Dr Berry facilitating, the group reviewed the proposed module. With the input of 18 committed individuals, revisions have been proposed and will be completed in early autumn. The participants of this course will present the final module to the Fort Worth, Southwestern PA, New York City, and North Coast Ohio Chapters in 2006. Dr Berry and Dr Miller will also present this course to MD/RN partners as a preconference on February 8, 2006. If you are interested in attending this preconference with your physician, please contact the National Office at 412-787-9301 to enroll.


Chapter Leadership Weekend

The third annual Leadership Weekend was held July 15-17, 2005, in Pittsburgh, PA, for chartered chapter leadership, district leaders, and provisional groups close to applying for charter status. Thirty-six attendees had the opportunity to learn more about our integrated chapter requirements, network, and solve problems with others in local leadership roles as well as time to interact with the HPNA Board of Directors and the HPNA National Office Staff. Thanks to our district leaders for planning a well-received learning-filled weekend of activities. For more information about our local groups, visit the HPNA Web site ( or contact Deena Butcher at the National Office.


The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation Announces Chapter Educational Grants

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation is pleased to announce that three chapter educational grants of $500 each were awarded to the following chapters:


Chapter of Fort Worth


Chapter of Mid-Florida


Chapter of Central Florida



At the 2005 Leadership Weekend, the four chapter educational grant winners of 2004 presented the outcomes of their grant work, which included educational seminars, Web site development, and chapter recruitment. The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation is pleased to be able to offer opportunities for education and research through the various awards, grants, and scholarships offered. For more information, visit the Web site


Advanced Practice Palliative Care Examination-Update!!

The National Office has received numerous inquiries related to the acquisition by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN(R)) of the Advanced Practice Palliative Care examination from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The information provided below reflects the questions and concerns that have been raised most frequently. Please contact the National Office for further clarification or to discuss any additional issues.


Why did NBCHPN(R) solely acquire the examination?

The ANCC and the NBCHPN(R) worked collaboratively for more than 4 years to establish the advanced practice palliative care certification program, culminating in a jointly owned testing program, NBCHPN(R)/ANCC. Since our early discussions, NBCHPN(R) had always indicated a desire to solely own the examination program as part of its portfolio, a decision fully supported by ANCC. In December 2004, this desire became a reality.


ANCC is widely recognized as a credentialing and certifying body for nursing. Will the NBCHPN(R) acquisition of the examination affect the "value" of the certification?

NBCHPN(R) and ANCC are both members of the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). ABNS is a widely recognized accrediting body with a specific focus on promoting excellence in nursing certification. The ABNS Accreditation Council provides accreditation of nursing certification examinations for both member and nonmember organizations. Through a peer review mechanism, nursing certification organizations obtain accreditation of their examination(s) by demonstrating compliance with ABNS standards. Accreditation status is granted for a period of 5 years. Annual reports are submitted to the Accreditation Council confirming compliance with standards. Organizations may seek reaccreditation every 5 years. ANCC has obtained several examination accreditations through its long history. NBCHPN(R) has ABNS accreditation for the RN examination and is communicating with selected state boards of nursing regarding approval of ABNS as the accrediting organization for the Advanced Practice Palliative Care examination.


Will my credential stay the same?

Advanced Practice Nurses holding the credential APRN-BC, PCM will have that credential through their current certification period. NBCHPN(R) has changed the credential to ACHPN (Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse), and this will be granted to successful candidates of the September 2005 examination. This new credential is more consistent with other credentials currently used for the other hospice and palliative care nursing certifications granted by NBCHPN(R).


NBCHPN(R)/ANCC certification was valid for 5 years. NBCHPN(R) certifications are valid only for 4 years. Will the length of my certification period change?

For those who were certified through ANCC, the current certification period will continue to be 5 years from the date of certification. Beginning with the September 2005 examination, the certification period will be 4 years, in order to correspond with the other NBCHPN(R) certifications.


Will the alternative recertification process (through professional activities such as continuing education, professional presentations, precepting, etc) be available?

Yes. The alternative recertification process is being developed and will be available for the advanced practice nurse on the NBCHPN(R) Web site when it is finalized. In addition, recertification by taking the examination will also be an option.


Should I or can I take the certification examination if I do not work exclusively in the field of hospice and palliative care but components of my job involve palliative care?

Eligibility requirements are explained in the candidate handbook and require (in addition to RN licensure and graduate-level education with both didactic and clinical components) that the clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner hold one of the following:


* master's or higher degree in nursing from an Advanced Practice Palliative Care-accredited educational program providing both a didactic component and a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice,


* post-master's certificate program with a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice, specifically in palliative care, or


* master's, post-master's, or higher degree in nursing from an advanced practice program (APRN) as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or nurse practitioner (NP) with 500 hours of post-master's practice (direct and/or indirect care) in providing palliative care in the year prior to applying to take the examination.



If an advanced practice education program provides the opportunity for palliative care clinical experience but does not meet the required 500 hours of supervised clinical practice, specifically in palliative care, the applicant will need to obtain additional supervised palliative care experience in the field in order to meet the minimum 500 hours requirement for taking the examination.


It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if he or she is eligible to take the examination. Applicants should carefully evaluate the nature of his or her practice and the actual amount of time spent in practice that requires knowledge and skills of the palliative care nursing specialty.


Does the certification guarantee my ability to practice as a CNS or NP?

No. Requirements for authorization to practice as an advanced practice nurse vary from state to state. It is imperative that you contact your state board of nursing to determine if they accept the NBCHPN(R) Advanced Practice Palliative Care specialty certification as part of the requirements for certification to practice in your particular role.


2006 NBCHPN(R) Certification Recognition Lunch

NBCHPN(R) will host its 5th Annual Certification Recognition event during the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2006, from 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, Nashville, TN. Bonnie Niebuhr, MS, RN, CAE, Chief Executive Officer for the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), will be the featured speaker. Her topic is "ABNS offers Added Value: The Power of Accreditation." Seating is limited to the first 250 registrants. Registration details are available through the Web site at or by calling the National Office at 412-787-057.


Certification Scholarships


* Available for successful September 2005 test takers.


* Application deadline is December 1, 2005.


Have You Completed Your Membership Survey?

If you have not received your survey, please contact the National Office at 412-787-9301 or via e-mail at [email protected].


Certification Tackettes

Are available for purchase from the National Office.


All tackettes are 10-kt gold filled for a cost of $35.00 each:


APRN BC-PCM Tackette


ACHPN Tackette


CHPN(R) Tackette


CHPLN Tackette


CHPNA Tackette


To order, please visit the Web site at or call the National Office at 412-787-1057