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CHPN Certification Requirements

Instructor: Felicia Landry

Felicia has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been a writer for the past 23 years.

The CHPN exam is for registered nurses in the U.S. who wish to validate their competency in hospice and palliative care. Learn about the requirements for as well as the benefits of obtaining this certification.

Requirements for CHPN Certification

Before earning the distinction as a certified hospice and palliative nurse (CHPN), you must first pass the CHPN exam. To be eligible to take the test, you must have the following:

  • A current and unrestricted license as a registered nurse
  • At least 500 hours of experience in hospics/palliative care in the last year or 1,000 hours within two years

To become a registered nurse, you'll need a minimum of a postsecondary certificate in nursing. However, this is a state-regulated profession, and some states require an associate or bachelor's degree. To obtain experience, most employers only require an RN license, though CHPN certification is often recommended.

Benefits of CHPN certification

A CHPN certification demonstrates your mastery of end-of-life care, as well as your knowledge and expertise to aid family members of a dying patient. Additionally, this certification can also benefit you professionally in regard to compensation and affirming your competency. A few of the benefits of CHPN certification include:

  • Demonstrates accountability and commitment to the practice of hospice and palliative care
  • Improves patient outcomes and the quality of care given based on confirmed expertise
  • Offers eligibility for grants, awards and scholarships through the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation and the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center

Exam Registration & Cost

Qualifying individuals can register to take the CHPN either by applying on the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center website or by submitting a paper application obtained from the CHPN handbook. The exam is given at over around 200 locations throughout the U.S.

The exam is given by appointment only Monday through Saturday on a first come, first served basis during the months of March, June, September and December. Online applications must be submitted within a certain time window, typically a three-month period ending on the 15th of the month prior to testing. If an application is sent before the posted start date or after the deadline, it will be returned as unprocessed.

Recertification for this designation is required every four years.

The cost for the exam is $295 for HPNA members and $415 for non-members. Recertification costs are $260 for HPNA members and $380 for non-members.

CHPN Exam Preparation

You'll be tested not only on your knowledge of patient care but also on several other areas regarding professional development, healthcare issues, resource management and peer collaboration. A general overview of test topics include:

  • Progression of health deterioration
  • Pain management and pharmacology
  • Physical and mental symptom management
  • Support, advocacy and education
  • Family care (grief, loss, and cultural care)
  • Resources for various healthcare issues
  • Supervision, standards of practice and professional development

To get you started on preparing for the exam, the following resources cover a variety of topics found on the exam. You can use these short lessons and self-assessment quizzes to gauge your current knowledge and find out where you need further study:

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