How to Become a Hospice Nurse
A hospice nursing job is one of the extremely sensitive but fulfilling healthcare roles. Working at a hospice provides a chance of taking care of critically ill patients at their last moments of life.
Providing hospice care focuses on palliative that aims at providing the best comfort to the patients at their critical moments no matter the stage of their illness. Becoming a hospice nurse requires a nurse to gain a unique set of qualifications. These are the essential steps towards becoming a hospice nurse who can provide palliative care.
1. Get a degree or diploma
The first thing that a nurse would do in preparation for becoming a hospice nurse is to complete a degree course and obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) degree. It is the common pathway for many although some enter into the practice through and ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) Diploma. The difference between BSN and ASN lies in the number of years. A degree program takes four years to complete at a university or tertiary education school. ASN program takes 2-3 years at a community college or nursing school. Completing a BSN and ASN program makes graduate nurses eligible for NCLEX-RN.
Nurses studying to become an RN learn in a classroom and clinical setting. You should request for placement on hospice setting for clinical and rotations if you plan to pursue a hospice nursing career. Working in such a setting provides an insight into the character and environment it takes to provide palliative care.
2.Pass licensure examination
Newly graduated nurses must obtain a license before they can start practice. For instance, you need to pass a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam to earn a license for working as a registered nurse.
3.Pass a hospice and palliative nurse certification exam
Some hospice care facilities hire nurses without demanding certification of hospice and palliative nurses. The best preparation is to acquire appropriate certification even when already working in a hospice care facility because the next one or the current employer might ask for it.
Certification comes from a national board. The United States has a strict certification system which leads to a high quality of nursing care. National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses is the only board of nursing with authority to certify hospice care nurses in the US.
The board recommends that applicants should have a valid RN license and have experience of at least two years in hospice and palliative care nursing. Nurses who secure an application should pass an examination consisting of 150 itemized questions. Successful applicants get a credential after passing the exam as the certification to become a certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.
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4.Garner experience by working in hospice care facilities
Certified hospice and palliative nurses have more chance to find work at hospice care facilities. Certification provides an opportunity to be more knowledgeable in the chosen field of nursing. It gives a certified nurse more edge in finding the best option for hospice jobs and participates even more effectively in interdisciplinary care of hospice patients.
A Hospice and Palliative Nurses Certification does not mean that it is the peak of becoming a full-fledged hospice nurse. Certification should be the beginning of engagement in continuing education program and professional activities relating to hospice care. These activities enrich the experience and competence to be a hospice nurse and are helpful when renewing certification.
5.Renewing Hospice and Palliative Nurses Certification
Renewing licensure should take place every four hours through RN hospice and palliative accrual for recertification. The recertification assimilates points for a continuing education program and other professional activities relating to hospice care to enable renewing of certification without a need to take another test.
Hospice nurses can work in facilities that provide palliative care or home settings. It is essential to start by becoming familiar with the qualities that recruiters require in applicants. Ability to cope with emotional stress and excellent communication skills are essential qualities in addition to academic qualifications for those wraith ambitions to be a hospice nurse.