Nurses must deal with some of the more difficult aspects of life; which unfortunately includes death and dying. Hospice nurses are specialized individuals that help patients and families die with dignity in their home, providing emotional support, education, and reassurance. They work closely with the interdisciplinary care team to provide comfort during the end-of-life process.

Why Do I Need a Hospice Nurse Certification?

Hospice nursing is a specialized field. Special training is needed above and beyond general nursing in order to provide individualized care to terminally ill patients and their families. They can quickly identify needs and utilize the appropriate interventions to ensure needs are met. Additionally, certification demonstrates the highest level of competency for hospice nurses. Some employers may even require certification for employment.

Where Can I Get a Hospice Nurse Certification?

Currently, there is only one nationally recognized certification body for hospice and palliative care nurses:

The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC)

Certification Name: Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse, Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse, Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse, Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant, Certified in Perinatal Loss Care, Certified Hospice and Palliative Licensed Nurse/ Vocational Nurse, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator


Cost: The cost for initial certification is as follows:

  • CHPN: $415/ $295 for HPNA members
  • ACHPN: $465/ $345 for HPNA members
  • CHPPN: $415/ $295 for HPNA members
  • CHPNA: $225/ $185 for HPNA members
  • CPLC: $415/ $295 for HPNA members
  • CHPLN: Initial certification has been discontinued Renewal fee is $320, $225 for HPNA members
  • CHPCA: $430/ $310 for HPNA members

Certification Requirements & Eligibility:

Requirements for certification depends on which specific certification is sought. For general hospice RN certification, requirements are as follows:

  • Hold a current, unrestricted RN license
  • Have a minimum of 500 hours working as a hospice and palliative care nurse in the previous 12 months, or 1,000 hours in the most recent 24 months

For more information, those interested in this certification may download the CHPN handbook.

See All Nursing Certifications