It takes a certain kind of personality and training to become a successful hospice nurse. In the hospice nursing field, the nurse is responsible for taking care of patients and their families in the final stages of their lives. Hospice is typically called in when a patient has exhausted every option for the treatment of various terminal illnesses, the most common of which is cancer. These nurses can work in healthcare facilities; however, the most common type of work for a hospice nurse is to go to a patient’s home. In addition, this type of nurse will also help the family and the patient cope with the end stages of life. They will provide guidance as to the grieving process and provide them with resources, options and comfort they need. The education required for the hospice nurse typically involves a college education as well as additional continuing education courses that will provide them with specialized training in the hospice field.
College education for a hospice nurse
The main degree program to become a qualified hospice nurse is that of the bachelor of science degree in nursing. With this degree, the student will be qualified to take the required examinations required by their state to receive the title of registered nurse. While many students go through an intense on-campus nursing program, more and more students are coming to realize that the aspect of distance education is the most convenient way to achieve their educational goals. The nursing program can be completed in an online format where clinical training opportunities are provided in a local healthcare facility. Once the exams have been passed and the degree earned, the student will gain the registered nurse designation and be able to begin working in the hospice field.
Continuing your education as a hospice nurse
There are many ways the hospice nurse can become even more qualified to work in the field. The most common form of additional training is that of continuing education courses. Hospice agencies may provide the courses, pay for the courses or offer them at a reduced rate. Most continuing education courses are completed online and provide the nurse with a certification in the hospice specialty of nursing.
Another type of additional training provided to those who want to enter or are already working in the hospice specialty is the graduate level degree. Before one can be considered for admittance into this graduate program, the nurse must already possess a bachelor’s degree as well as some experience. This program generally has a sub-specialty of hospice nursing which will fully qualify the nurse in the hospice field as well as provide them with additional skills required to successfully complete the duties of their job.
The hospice nurse provides a service to their patients that is personally rewarding for the nurse and equally rewarding for the patient and their family. Many nurses do not have the personality required to handle patients who are not going to survive; therefore, the demand for these nurses is very high. With the high demand and various ways to become qualified, it is easy, affordable and well worth it to become a nurse in the specialty of hospice.