1. Werner, Beth RN, CHPN

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The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) recognizes the exceptional value placed on learning when nurses mentor nurses. In fulfilling this commitment, we have created a yearlong mentorship program that provides a model of learning for emerging and seasoned advanced practice nurses (APN), nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and nurse managers/coordinators that addresses both clinical and administrative needs across common practice settings. The goal of the mentoring program is to provide access to known experts in the field so that the APN gains experience and confidence in new or expanded professional roles in hospice and palliative care.


Mentoring is the process in which experienced nurses share their knowledge and expertise through a formal partnership whereby both mentee and mentor mutually benefit. The Advanced Practice Mentoring program, coordinated through the national office, offers opportunities for the development of professional relationships and networking that span the nation. The HPNA has uniquely eliminated the barriers to professional growth and learning through the creation of an electronic community, thus providing access that is especially important to those APNs in geographic areas without a lot of support.


Key features of the program include the following:


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


* Six online modules with CEUs addressing clinical and administrative topics


* Six online complex clinical case studies for group discussion


* Individualized goals and action plan negotiated between mentor and mentee


* Inaugural leadership event at the March 25, 2009, AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly, "Cultivating Palliative Advanced Practice Nursing Through Mentoring" (All mentors and mentees are encouraged to attend.)



With the American Board of Medical Specialties voting in 2006 to make hospice and palliative medicine a subspecialty, and the growing needs of our aging population, hospice and palliative services have rapidly emerged, including inpatient palliative and hospice units, inpatient consultation teams, community-based hospice programs, ambulatory palliative care programs, and hospice programs in skilled nursing facilities. As a result, there is a demand for APNs experienced in hospice and palliative care. Our organization believes that mentoring is the greatest contribution that professional nurses can give to each other, promoting and strengthening all arenas of hospice and palliative nursing.


Eligibility requirements for the mentee include the following:


* Member of the HPNA


* Working as an APN (CNS or NP) in palliative and/or hospice care


* Minimum of 6 months of experience



Eligibility requirements for the mentor include the following:


* Member of the HPNA


* ACHPN or board eligible


* Five years or more of current experience as an APN (CNS or NP) in palliative and/or hospice care



The HPNA continues to have its finger on the pulse, listening to and taking action on the needs of the membership. We believe that nursing mentorship is vital to the growth of palliative nursing, with its ability to draw nurses into the field and to nurture and empower them, thus promoting professional development and confidence and encouraging retention. For more information, go to


Beth Werner, RN, CHPN


Board of Directors


Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association