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How to Become a Hospice Nurse

How to Become a Hospice Nurse

This article will help you with the basic guidelines on becoming a hospice nurse and doing your best once you decide to be one. It is one of the noblest paths that one can choose in the medical field. So, read on and check if you have what it takes to become one.
Sujata Iyer
The profession of nursing has come a long way since its inception. What was initially considered to be just a basic assistance to doctors is now a much respected profession which involves round the clock exceptional care of patients. While doctors are the experts in actually curing or operating on the patients, it is the tender and gentle care provided by nurses that helps patients get through the recuperating period with much more ease and a little more comfort than without them. Hospice nursing, the path of nursing that involves the care of terminally ill patients, is one of the most compassionate ones that you can choose. If you want to know how you can become one, this CareerStint article will give you an insight into the steps that you need to follow.

Steps to Become a Hospice Nurse

This section will give you all the information that you need in case you are contemplating becoming a hospice nurse. Go through the requirements and also the basic job description so that you get an idea of what exactly you'll be expected to do.

Non Academic Requirements
  • The first thing that you need is extreme compassion. You have to genuinely be willing to serve people who are nearing the end of their lives, and aspire to make that remaining period a better and more comfortable one for them.
  • In addition to compassion, you need a strong resolve and a steely confidence and determination to ensure that you not only make the person's life a bit more comfortable, but you yourself are able to cope with the deteriorating health conditions and ultimately the death of the person. Becoming attached to your patient can be quite discomforting when you know that he or she is not going to make it. So, you must have the ability to be warm and sympathetic towards their needs, but not to the extent of emotionally disturbing your own balance.
  • Apart from these basic psychological qualities, it is also necessary to be physically fit and able to provide timely physical assistance to your patients. Being a hospice nurse can be quite a physically strenuous job, so you need to be in good shape yourself.
Academic Requirements
  • The first important piece of academic certification that you need, in order to become a certified hospice nurse, is a basic bachelor's degree in nursing. This degree generally lasts for 4 years and comprises both, theoretical as well as practical training in the field of nursing. Make sure that the degree you get is from an accredited university
  • If you want to get a degree in almost half the time, you can also opt for an Associate's degree in nursing from a community college.
  • One more option that you can explore is joining a hospital diploma plan wherein you will get hands on training in handling nursing jobs and responsibilities, that too working with nursing professionals. By taking such a course, you get practical knowledge and training even in aspects that are not related to nursing, but are quite beneficial to you.
  • After you get a bachelor's degree, you may be required to take an examination by your state, in order to give you the specified certification in hospice nursing.
  • Plus, you need to have undertaken courses in biology, anatomy, chemistry, geriatrics, acute patient care, psychology, terminal illnesses, medical ethics, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, etc. Only then can you get certification and be given the status of a hospice nurse by the National Board for the Certification of Hospice Nurses.
You need to be a Registered Nurse in order to become a hospice nurse. So get all the required certifications in order before you take the plunge into this noble profession. There's much to learn and a lot to receive from it.