Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing Graduate Programs in Kentucky
As a registered nurse, you may have worked in hospice in the past. Perhaps you currently work in hospice or palliative care and you’re ready to expand your scope of practice while focusing your nursing career on the needs of terminal patients. By earning a Master’s degree in hospice nursing, you can take on a more demanding role in patient care and influence the decisions made in care plans.
You may benefit from the support of groups like the Kentucky Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, which serves both the needs of hospice patients and hospice medical professionals. You may discover current issues in Kentucky palliative care, find out how experienced nursing professionals handle the challenges of palliative care, and start to build a network in the world of hospice care.
Take the first step toward hospice nurse certification today. Contact Kentucky nursing programs to learn more.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in Kentucky
A Master’s degree in nursing can give you the certification and training needed to work in hospice care. A Bachelor’s degree in nursing gives you the greatest variety of programs, since most programs require an undergraduate degree. There are selected schools that accept Associate’s-level nurses into RN-to-MSN programs. However, to specialize in hospice care, you may need a Bachelor’s degree or a substantial amount of nursing experience.
The first decision you make is whether you want to become a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. Both options permit you to pursue palliative care nursing certification, but each role functions slightly differently in healthcare settings. Comparing course requirements, credit hour requirements, and clinical hours can help you choose a program that fits your skills. Hospice nurse education requirements address subjects like ethical care with terminal patients, family support, and the grieving process.
Hospice Certification Course Options
• Caring for the Caregiver
• Spirituality in Hospice and Palliative Care
• Therapies in Hospice and Palliative Care
• Aging and Chronic Illness
• End-of-Life Care
• Counseling for the Terminally Ill
By the time you complete your Master’s degree, you should have more than 500 hours of clinical experience. At minimum, you need 500 hours for certification as an NP or CNS. To add hospice nursing to your certification, you may need hours above and beyond your base requirements.
Numerous organizations and employers fund scholarships for graduate nursing students. The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation awards $2,000 scholarships to graduate students.
After you graduate, you may apply for an advanced license through the Kentucky Board of Nursing. From there, you need to get 500 hours of experience in one year or 1,000 hours of experience in two years to become an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center, 2016).
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Kentucky
Hospice nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists are typically employed through hospice agencies that serve clients within specific areas. Rather than spending most of your time at a clinic or hospital, you may travel to patients’ homes and provide nursing care in a home setting. Your daily work may include patient assessment, administration of pain medications, patient communication and education, and family updates. This role shifts slightly as a patient nears the end, since you may respond to emergency calls and pain control needs. There are many palliative care agencies in Kentucky. Some of the most widely known are Appalachian Hospice Care, Hospice Care Plus, and Heritage Hospice.