Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing Graduate Programs in California
Teamwork, patient communication, an understanding of evidence-based care—the same factors that make a great nurse are the same traits that make an excellent hospice nurse. Hospice nurse practitioners in California have an advanced knowledge of terminal disease and illness, as well as the psychological changes that occur in patients who are approaching death. They bring an extremely personalized level of care to their work, providing patients with whatever they need to feel at peace, understand their diagnosis, and remain comfortable in their final days.
A recent hospice case in California involved an eight-year-old boy who passed away from kidney disease (PIX11, 2016). Prior to his passing, he was made an honorary Marine and was cared for by hospice nurses in his home.
By studying hospice nursing at the graduate level, you may be a source of stability and comfort for patients and family members. Contact local nursing schools to find out how you can pursue palliative care nursing certification.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in California
With a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can start down the path to advanced hospice nursing certification. It’s important to have some experience in nursing. In particular, working as a Bachelor’s-level registered nurse in hospice care may be valuable to your education. As you earn 30 to 40 credits in advanced nursing practice in hospice settings, you may take courses in various areas of hospice care.
Hospice Nursing Courses in California
• Pediatric Hospice Care
• Patient Consultation in Hospice Care
• Long-Term Hospice Care
• Home Hospice Care
• Outpatient Hospice Care
Clinical rotations are required in any nursing specialty. While studying palliative care, you may complete rotations at inpatient hospice care centers, home care facilities that send nurses to patients’ homes, and state facilities. While working with licensed hospice nurses, you may learn how to carry out the core tasks of hospice nursing. This includes getting a feel for the family’s cultural beliefs and concerns, assessing a patient’s psychological health, determining pain levels, and changing care plans as needed. As the end draws near, you may discover how to comfort patients and prepare families for the grieving process.
For hospice nursing certification, California students may consider the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center. The Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse option involves earning a Master’s degree, maintaining a Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner license, and completing at least 500 hours of hospice work in the last 12 months or 1,000 hours in the last 24 months. They verify that you’ve met hospice nurse education requirements before administering your certification.
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in California
You may need to work as a hospice nurse practitioner for an extensive amount of time before applying for hospice nurse certification. However, as long as you have an advanced practice license through the California Board of Registered Nursing, you may still work in palliative settings.
While working toward hospice certification, you may find that while your patient is still your primary focus, you must also serve the families of your patients to have a lasting impact. It is difficult for families to watch loved ones suffer, and even harder to accept the finality of death. As one of the primary care providers of the team, you may offer psychological resources and referrals, educate families on their family members’ diagnoses, or simply listen to them work through their struggles. This specialty can be emotionally draining on nurses as well, so you may get support through groups like the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association. You may refer patients and families to groups like the California Hospice Foundation.
Numerous companies provide palliative services in California. Local employers include VITAS Healthcare, Hospice Care of California, VNA Hospice and Palliative Care, and Companion Health Group.
You can make a difference in people’s lives when it matters most. Death is never easy, but the dedication and kindness of good hospice nurses can at least make it easier. Explore your options today by contacting California hospice nurse programs.