Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing Graduate Programs in Iowa
No matter how much time you spend in the field of nursing, there’s always a way you can use your skills in a new setting or with a new patient population. Consider the field of hospice care. Patients of all ages have to struggle with the reality of terminal diagnoses, and as they handle the reality of their prognosis, they should be able to stay comfortable and pain-free. Hospice nurses generally work in patients’ homes and provide pain relief, education, and support. The Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa is a major resource for palliative patients and medical staff, advocating for patients’ rights and helping care providers meet patients’ needs.
Considering a career in hospice care? Get more information on hospice nurse certification by reaching out to Iowa schools below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in Iowa
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may have a wide variety of hospice nursing programs to consider. With a valid registered nursing license, you may complete your Master’s degree in roughly two years of full-time study. If you have an Associate’s degree in nursing, you may still be able to pursue a Master’s degree. RN-to-MSN bridge programs are designed to be completed in three to four years. Typically, you must take summer courses to graduate in this timeframe.
First, you select a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist program. Prior to starting your hospice courses, you must decide which patient population you want to focus on. Options include psychiatric care, adult care, pediatric care, and geriatric care. Most Iowa programs require between 40 and 60 credits, including specialized hospice coursework.
Courses for Palliative Care Certification
• Symptom Management in Advanced Illness
• Psychosocial, Cultural, and Spiritual Care
• Advanced Non-Pain Symptom Management
• Advanced Disease State Management
• Clinical Management of Special Patient Populations
• Hospice Leadership and Administration
You should spend lots of time in hospitals, clinics, and patient homes as you earn your degree. For a Master’s degree, you need at least 500 hours of clinical work. However, hospice programs often require far more than 500 hours.
Take advantage of scholarships for hospice nursing education. Through the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation, you may apply for a $2,000 scholarship.
After you graduate, it’s important to get plenty of work experience before applying for hospice and palliative care certification. The Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center requires a Master’s degree and either 500 hours of experience in the past year or 1,000 hours of experience in the past two years.
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Iowa
When you become a licensed nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you may seek openings at local hospice clinics. There are standalone hospice organizations and large hospitals with hospice divisions. In Iowa, some of the largest hospice organizations is Iowa City Hospice, Hospice Compassus, HCI Care Services, and Hospice of Siouxland.
Due to the needs of hospice patients, you must be ready to work a wide range of hours. In addition to conventional daytime hours, you may work weekends, nights, and holidays. Many hospice organizations require on-call hours, as patients may need emergency care or palliative care at any time.
If you’re ready to pursue hospice nursing certification, Iowa schools are ready to help you explore your options.