“Hospice nurse” is often used as a catch-all term for several different professions:
- Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN)
- Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN)
- Certified Hospice and Palliative Licensed Nurse (CHPLN)
- Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant (CHPNA)
What is a Hospice Nurse?
In all its forms and titles, hospice nurses and nursing assistants provide palliative care—also known as comfort care—to those near the end of their lives. Generally, they care for patients expected to live 6 months or less, and their aid is intended to optimize quality of life and minimize suffering among those with terminal illnesses. It takes resilience, empathy, and training to be a hospice nurse, and the professional healthcare recruiters at CHN have the utmost respect for those who take care of patients in their final days.
In this article, we will focus on the responsibilities, education, and salary of Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurses (CHPNs).
What Does a Hospice Nurse Do?
Hospice nurses (CHPNs) make critically ill patients as comfortable as possible during their final days. Most often, they work in the patients’ homes, but they can also assist in other care settings such as:
- Hospice centers
- Nursing homes
- Skilled nursing facilities
Although their primary responsibility is to care for their patients, hospice nurses also provide information and support to patients’ families. With an emphasis on peace, comfort, and dignity, they help patients and families come to terms with their feelings of loss and the complex realities of death.
Hospice nurses have many daily responsibilities related to patient care, including:
- Monitoring patient needs and comfort level
- Documenting vital signs
- Administering medication
- Consulting with the patient’s doctors and medical team
- Assisting during health crises
- Providing emotional support to patients and their families
- Educating family caregivers
- Communicating patient needs and condition changes to family
- Attending to patient hygiene
Are you interested in hospice RN jobs in Boston? CHN provides flexible work options that allow you to balance your personal life with the demands of caring for terminally ill patients. As a top hospice staffing agency in Boston, we offer competitive pay, great benefits, and the support you need so you can focus on those who need you most.
How to Become a Hospice Nurse
Hospice nursing is a demanding yet rewarding profession. Education and experience requirements vary among nursing positions, and it’s important to understand the steps you need to take to attain the role you desire.
The most common degree for CHPNs is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). However, it is also possible to pursue hospice nursing after completing an associates of science program. With either degree, it is necessary to get your nursing license and become a registered nurse in your state. After passing the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN), you will receive your license as an official registered nurse. Since working with terminally ill patients has unique responsibilities and requires emotional resilience, it is often helpful to have several years’ nursing experience before transitioning to a hospice role. Consider seeking experience in geriatrics, ICU, or surgery to gain the expertise you will need to take care of critically ill patients and provide support for their caregivers and families.
Average Hospice Nurse Salary in Boston
The average annual hospice nurse salary in Massachusetts is $91, 894, which is considerably higher than the national median pay of $77, 600 per year.
A leader among healthcare staffing agencies in Boston, CHN Healthcare Group has exclusive connections to high-paying nursing opportunities. Find a rewarding home care opportunity today.
What Skills Do Hospice Nurses Need?
Along with nursing knowledge and clinical experience, hospice nurses also need to have a wealth of soft skills. Including:
- Caring for those who may be in extreme pain and nearing the end of their lives requires having an enormous amount of sympathy and the desire to help.
- Observation skills. Hospice nurses must closely monitor patients to provide the appropriate level of care and pain relief.
- Hospice nurses must coordinate care and communicate with multiple people, including the patient, their family and caregivers, spiritual advisors, doctors, and your team.
- Emotional and physical strength. Nursing often requires lifting patients, moving furniture, carrying health equipment, and more. Shifts are often long and can be exhausting. Many caregivers bond with the patients and their families, which can be emotionally taxing as patients near the end of their lives.
- Cultural sensitivity. Hospice nurses care for a diverse population of patients during a time that requires sensitivity, delicacy, and utmost respectfulness.
- The end of life can be unpredictable. Care needs often change quickly, and you must be flexible to adapt to the requirements of your patient and their loved ones.
- Good instincts. The best hospice nurses are able to use their instincts and training to do what needs to be done quickly or make suggestions to provide a better quality of life for the patient.
Benefits of Working Through a Hospice Staffing Agency in Boston
Nursing opportunities in home health care are growing—and show no signs of slowing down over the next ten years. Our healthcare job recruiters can help you access the best hospice RN jobs in Boston and beyond. Enjoy professional development opportunities, excellent pay, great benefits, and more, including:
Travel Nursing Opportunities
Looking to travel, take a working vacation, or visit family? We offer nationwide home care opportunities that allow you to explore different environments while using your nursing skills to make a difference.
Nursing is a demanding job and can take a bite out of your personal life. Achieve work-life balance by choosing roles that fit your life and accommodate your schedule.
Accelerated Job Search
Want to avoid gaps in your schedule? After a physically and emotionally difficult assignment, hospice nurses often don’t have the time or energy to search out the best roles or negotiate competitive pay rates. As a top hospice staffing agency in Boston, we’ll find you flexible, high-paying home cares roles that work for your schedule. Find a job faster and with less hassle, allowing you to focus on patient care.
Find a Hospice RN Job in Boston with CHN Today
CHN has been finding the best jobs for nurses since 1985. Our hospice staffing agency in Boston puts your needs first. Our professional healthcare recruiters will find roles that make the most of your skills and knowledge and provide the flexibility, great pay, and benefits you deserve. Explore our job board today.