Finding Our Collective Voice in Advocacy: The First Few Steps : Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing

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DEPARTMENTS: Association News

Finding Our Collective Voice in Advocacy: The First Few Steps

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing 25(3):p 116-118, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000950
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Finding Our Collective Voice in Advocacy: The First Few Steps

Considered by many to be among the most trusted professions, nursing has been at the top of Gallup's annual honesty and ethics list for 20 consecutive years and, in 2022, ranked highest among 22 occupational groups, including doctors, pharmacists, and teachers. As essential members of their communities with a reputation for caring for those in need, nurses are uniquely qualified to advocate for their patients and their profession. Telling your story to policymakers can help ensure that they support funding for nursing education and training programs, workforce initiatives, research, telehealth, access to care, and other health care priorities.

The first step to becoming an advocate is simple: contacting your members of Congress and their staff, introducing yourself, and sharing your story so they can better understand why hospice and palliative care nursing is essential. This early introduction and continued engagement will be helpful in developing a relationship and paving the way for future communication and legislative requests, such as supporting or sponsoring a piece of legislation. The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) makes it easy for members to take this initial step through a tool within the HPNA Action Center that provides the name and contact information for your legislators; once you enter your address, you'll be able to email your representative directly. You also will be able to sign up to receive HPNA's legislative updates and action alerts.

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association's Action Center also lists our current legislative priorities and calls to action and allows you to quickly personalize letters and email them to elected officials. This also enables HPNA's advocacy team to track and measure participation in advocacy campaigns.

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association is an active member of several coalitions, including the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care, the Nursing Community Coalition, and the Patient Quality of Life Coalition. Through these partnerships, HPNA and other organizations are able to unite with one voice on issues important to the collective nursing community and the broader hospice and palliative care community.

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association also offers volunteer opportunities to support our advocacy efforts. One way to begin advocating with HPNA is to volunteer as a state ambassador. State ambassadors are responsible for monitoring activity in their state, meeting quarterly with HPNA staff, and sharing information with colleagues across the country. This strengthens HPNA's state-to-state peer support network and informs HPNA leadership about issues at the state level that may be headed to the federal level in the future. Experienced advocates are also encouraged to apply to serve on the HPNA Advocacy Committee, which guides advocacy efforts and provides formal recommendations for action to the Board of Directors.

For more information on HPNA's advocacy efforts, please email [email protected].


Each of us will leave a legacy, something nurses working in hospice or palliative care may realize more than most others. When considering your own legacy, planned gifts to the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation (HPNF) can allow you to continue your dedication to hospice and palliative nursing care for generations to come.

Estate planning is the process of caring for yourself and your assets while you are living, and planning for the orderly transfer of assets to other persons and organizations—both during your life and afterward. Also called planned or legacy gifts, the estate planning process provides a sense of relief and peace of mind. You'll know that you have done your best to plan and provide for yourself and for loved ones, as well as for the causes, like HPNF, you've cared about during your lifetime.

Making a planned gift to HPNF will support and grow a vital network of hospice and palliative care nurses, generate a heightened awareness of our specialty of care, and further advance the quality of life for the patients and families. In fact, legacy giving is a positive way to leave a lasting impact, although it also has significant tax implications that can lower income taxes during your life as well as estate taxes at your death.

Common planned gift contribution can be made through traditional means, including the following:

  • - Wills
  • - Trusts
  • - Retirement and Individual Retirement Account funds
  • - Life insurance policies

There are tax implications that can maximize the gifts you leave for all your beneficiaries. For example, assets from an Individual Retirement Account or 401(k) plan are subject to income tax when bequeathed to an individual but are tax-exempt when left to a 501(c)(3) charity like HPNF. Engaging legal and financial professionals who have the credentials and experience in estate planning is the best way to understand which options are best for you and your family.

Distinguished contributors in the HPNF Florence Wald Champion program demonstrate their passionate commitment to quality, end-of-life care by pledging to contribute $10 000 to HPNF over the course of a maximum of 5 years. Established in honor of Florence S. Wald, MN, MS, FAAN, the Champions are leaders promoting high quality of life for persons experiencing serious illness through excellence in hospice and palliative nursing.

The support from these philanthropic leaders ensures that funds are available to nurses and other health care professionals for education and research in the advancement of the rapidly growing and increasingly important hospice and palliative nursing specialty while honoring the “mother of hospice and palliative care.”

Past HPNA and HPNF President Linda Gorman, MN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CHPN, FPCN, is Florence Wald Champion and also provides contributions through the Gorman Family Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation. She says her generosity to the HPNF reflects her appreciation for the support, networking, and opportunities her involvement with HPNA provided her during her remarkable career.

Gifts of all types provide vital support and enable HPNF to continue to cultivate and champion the future of hospice and palliative nursing care. A testament to our mission, contributions from our members are particularly important and represent another way to provide service, give back to your profession, and leave a legacy for future nurses. If you would like further information, contact HPNF at [email protected].


The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) takes pride in its examination security and makes every effort to ensure the validity of each of its examinations. In coordination with our testing provider, PSI, data forensics analyses will be regularly performed to explore statistical trends to detect unusually high pass rates, item response and error similarities, abnormal item score patterns, and irregular time patterns. Information gathered around these trends are beneficial in detecting possible proxy testing, cheating, collusion, or item harvesting.

The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center is pleased to share that through 2 forensic data analyses in 2022, there are no findings that challenge the validity of the HPCC certification examinations.

Identifying test fraud and taking action are crucial components to maintaining the integrity of a certification program. The desirability of professional certifications may increase the likelihood that tests are targeted for fraudulent testing activity, and HPCC is happy to add this extra level of security to its examinations in addition to the traditional test security protocols.

When a data forensics analysis detects trends consistent with cheating behavior, a series of investigations and in-depth analyses are used to confirm whether misconduct has happened. If fraudulent activity is confirmed, PSI works to help identify and implement corrective actions.

In addition to data forensics analyses, PSI is helping HPCC with its Web crawling services to search the Internet for proprietary test content. With the accelerating move to online and remote testing, this is another important precautionary step for test content protection that complements the other steps HPCC is already taking.

PSI's Web crawling service begins by identifying key search terms within your active item bank. A watch list of websites is compiled that includes sites that advertise real test questions. The Web crawler program browses these sites to search for specific terms and references to proprietary test content, including content hidden in PDF documents. This list of sites is continually updated as new ones are identified through social media listening and active searches. In addition to finding test content on websites, the Web crawler can also identify content on discussion boards and social media. This includes stolen items offered for sale or past test takers who discuss test content.

An effective test security program involves steps to protect test content across the entire test life cycle that begins with secure content storage and transfer during test development and continues through online proctoring and the use of alternate or unique forms during test delivery.

“The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center is the only organization that offers specialty certification to hospice and palliative nurses and social workers. It is important to our organization to protect our exams and the validity of our certification program,” said director of credentialing Annette Perry Bush, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN, ICE-CCP, “We are proud that our exam content remains secure and are confident that it will remain that way as we continue to implement robust security measures across the testing cycle.”


Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Certification Review Courses provide a framework to prepare and a process to assess the strengths and weaknesses of content before sitting for an HPCC certification examination. The educational content may also be used to increase knowledge of general hospice and palliative nursing and serious illness care. Each course is divided into modules that address sections of the detailed content outline from the HPCC Candidate Handbooks.

In addition, HPNA offers certification practice examinations for 5 of the HPCC credentials.

Instructor-Led Certification Review Courses

Instructor-led certification review courses are available for the ACHPN and CHPN credentials and are offered several times throughout the year. These 8-hour intensive courses are taught in modules accompanied by slide presentations and PDF handouts. Nursing Continuing Professional Development (NCPD) and Pharm credits are available upon successful completion of the course. Discounted pricing is available for HPNA members and employers who work with the HPNA Employer Partner Program. Nonmembers receive a 1-year HPNA membership when registering for an instructor-led certification review course.

2023 Courses:


  • April 21
  • July 14
  • November 10


  • May 19
  • August 18

Self-paced Certification Review Courses

Self-paced certification review courses are composed of modules with accompanying slide presentations, faculty-supported audio, and postcourse attestation and evaluation. Learners have access to the course for 90 days once purchased. NCPD and Pharm credits are available upon successful completion of this course.

Courses are available for the following credentials: ACHPN, CHPN, CHPPN, CHPLN, and CHPNA.

CHPN Interactive Certification Review Course

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association's newest offering, the CHPN Interactive Certification Review Course, is an online self-paced interactive presentation of the CHPN Instructor-Led Certification Review Course. This course includes 6 modules with interactive case studies and knowledge checks. Each module has its own objectives and slide presentation with accompanying audio. NCPD and Pharm credits are available upon successful completion of this course. This course is available for 90 days after purchase.

Participation in an HPNA certification review course does not guarantee success in passing a certification examination. For additional information, please contact the HPNA Education Department at [email protected].


ELNEC Core Train-the-Trainer—June 15-16, 2023

ELNEC train-the-trainer courses provide nurses with education in hospice and palliative nursing, preparing them to serve as instructors teaching this critical information to other nurses in the specialty.

ACHPN Live Virtual Certification Review Course—July 14, 2023

This instructor-led certification review course is designed to help prepare you for your upcoming HPCC ACHPN certification examination.

What's Trending in Hospice & Palliative Care - July 21, 2023

Take time out of your busy schedule to connect with other hospice and palliative care nurses and learn. This 6-hour event will cover topics to support you in your professional growth.

CHPN Live Virtual Certification Review Course—August 18, 2023

This instructor-led certification review course is designed to help prepare you for your upcoming HPCC CHPN certification examination.

The Team Conference for Hospice and Palliative Care—September 28-29, 2023

This 2-day conference brings together colleagues in hospice and palliative care to explore best practices that enhance the specialty and improve patient and caregiver outcomes. This conference aims for colleagues to connect with one another and leave feeling rejuvenated and inspired in their own journey of hospice and palliative health care.

ACHPN Live Virtual Certification Review Course—November 10, 2023

This instructor-led certification review course is designed to help prepare you for your upcoming HPCC ACHPN certification examination.

ELNEC Core Train-the-Trainer—December 7-8, 2023

ELNEC train-the-trainer courses provide nurses with education in hospice and palliative nursing, preparing them to serve as instructors teaching this critical information to other nurses in the specialty.

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