1. Snapp, Janet RN, MSN

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The board of directors of HPNA is excited to introduce the new mission statement to our membership! The original mission statement was not the "sound bite" that could be easily shared with others. So we set out to find a way to capture in one or two sentences what HPNA represents. We started by examining our history and how HPNA came into being. Our original name was HNA, Hospice Nurses Association. We were composed of nurses who provided care within the context of a hospice program. Most of our patient care began only during the last few months of life and primarily focused on pain and symptom relief for dying cancer patients. So much has changed since that time. We no longer limit access to care to cancer patients; we take care of patients with myriad diagnoses. Care is provided regardless of age, do-not-resuscitate status, treatment options, or desires and the patient's living situations. We also began providing care regardless of payor source. We had many hospice programs developing "prehospice" or "transition programs" for patients who were not eligible to access their hospice Medicare benefit. The care we were providing became much more robust.


Palliative care was always a concept we embraced. Our foundation leader, Dame Cecily Saunders, spoke often of palliative care. Some hospices and hospitals began to value the idea of introduction of palliative care much earlier in the disease trajectory. Now, palliative care is being offered at the time of diagnosis, to ensure that patients and families are fully informed and comforted during treatment, and throughout the disease trajectory. The speciality of this care was recognized, and the name palliative care was added to our name in 1998.


Today, HPNA has members from all aspects of care. We recognize that many nurses in our association may have never worked for a hospice program but look to their membership with HPNA for leadership, guidance, and education for their work world. Our members cut across all levels of nursing care, including APNs, RNs, LPNs, and NAs. All these levels practice through the entire continuum of care, so we have broadened our mission to clearly represent our entire membership while making it succinct enough to share easily with others. We recognize that all hospice patients receive palliative care, but not all palliative care patients are eligible for hospice care.


With these thoughts in mind, we-the board of directors-present the mission statement of HPNA and hope that you will share this with your colleagues, encouraging them to become a part of the mission.



Leading the way to promote excellence in the provision of palliative nursing care through leadership development, education, and the support of research in the field.


Janet Snapp, RN, MSN


President, Board of Directors


Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association