Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing Graduate Programs in Illinois
The experience you’ve gained as a registered nurse is useful in many advanced nursing roles. In particular, your patient communication skills and ability to use clinical reasoning to respond swiftly to issues may help you thrive in the world of hospice care.
Patients in hospice care need to have their spiritual, emotional, and medical needs met for as much time as they have left. When you become a hospice nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you can oversee care, create healthcare plans, and work alongside physicians to ensure that patients are well cared for. As you explore your options in this field, you may consider joining a group like the Illinois Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Discover your options for palliative care certification by reaching out to Illinois nursing programs below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in Illinois
The first step to choosing a palliative care nursing degree in Illinois is deciding whether you want to be a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. There is a lot of overlap in these roles, so you may want to compare course requirements and learning outcomes to decide which career path is right for you. This involves choosing a patient population, such as geriatric care, adult care, or pediatric care. On top of your core nursing courses and those that relate to your chosen patient population, you complete a curriculum of hospice nursing courses.
Palliative Care Courses
• Translating Nursing Evidence Into Practice
• Health Care Systems for Advanced Nursing Practice
• Palliative Care Nursing
• Advanced Palliative Care Nursing
• Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
• Pharmacology of Pain Medications
Clinical work is required for advanced nursing licensure. At minimum, you need 500 clinical hours. However, many schools require you to complete 500 hours plus additional hours for hospice nursing. The more time you spend in clinical settings, the more prepared you may be for hospice and palliative care certification exams.
When you’re accepted to a program, start checking out hospice nursing scholarships and grants. The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation is one of the largest organizations in this field. Each year, they give selected graduate students $2,000 scholarships.
Certification is regulated by the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center. After becoming licensed as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you must complete 500 hours of experience in one year or 1,000 hours of experience in two years to become certified.
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Illinois
With your hospice and palliative nurse credential, you may take on primary care or consulting duties at a local hospice care provider. This typically involves traveling to patients’ homes, getting reports from family members and other medical staff, administering pain medications, and making any necessary adjustments to care plans.
During your time at a patient’s home, you may also talk with family members and ease their worries as they go through this difficult time. Your job is to advocate for your patients, make sure their wishes are respected, and minimize their pain. Hospice facilities are located throughout Illinois. Major employers include Northern Illinois Hospice, Rainbow Hospice, and JourneyCare.
With the right hospice care training, you can help families and patients get through an extremely challenging time with as much comfort and knowledge as possible.