Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

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Basic description

A palliative care nurse practitioner provides comprehensive care to patients and families living with a terminal illness. They could develop practice protocols for end-of-life care, educate other clinicians about palliative care, conduct research to expand knowledge about palliative care, and assume administrative roles in health care organizations.

Educational requirements

Registered nurse license and Nurse Practitioner certification are required; most positions require 1 year of acute care experience; certification is offered by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses.

Core competencies/skills needed

■ Advanced knowledge and preparation in pain and symptom management and end-of-life care
■ Sensitivity to the needs of terminally ill patients and their families
■ Knowledge of hospice regulations and standards of care
■ Excellent communication and assessment skills
■ Strong computer and documentation skills
■ Ability to work with an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, social workers, dietitians, and unlicensed assistive personnel

Related Web sites and professional organizations

■ Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (
■ National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (
■ Center for Advance Palliative Care (


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