Frequently Asked Questions
Palliative Care Throughout the Lifespan for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
A program leading to a Certificate of Professional Achievement (CPA) offered by Columbia University through one of its schools as an organized, stand-alone curriculum of 4 credit-bearing courses totaling 12 credits taken for letter grades. Students may not receive a CPA for completing a major, minor, or concentration or for taking courses that count towards a degree or certificate
In response to growing numbers of elderly persons with advanced disease as well as young people living into adulthood with chronic, life-limiting illness, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2020 proposed development of university-based palliative care programs providing in-depth specialized preparation for competency-based certification for mid-career nurses. This recommendation met the rise of the 2020 pandemic with its host of issues around complex medical management, racial disparities, bioethical conundra, and its devastating effect on caregivers. This confluence of factors added urgency to the need for all APRNs to have robust education in palliative care nursing.
This program is offered only to licensed, practicing nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.
Courses are offered in fall and spring (2 consecutive semesters).
30 weeks (two 15-week semesters).
Course credits cannot be counted toward another degree or certificate.
Associate Professor Marlene E. McHugh DNP, AGACNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN
Assistant Professor Clinical Nursing Penelope R. Buschman MS, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Students must be nurse practitioners and currently licensed to practice.
International students must be proficient in spoken and written English language and will be required to interview with program directors.
While this certificate program provides the academic content required for the Hospice and Palliative Care Credentialing Center’s Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse Examination (ACHPN®), there are 500 supervised clinical hours required to be exam eligible. These must be acquired outside of the program.
APRNs who have completed the program will be prepared to provide evidence-based competent and compassionate care to patients and families as well as support to caregiving colleagues. APRNs will be prepared to take leadership roles in palliative care and to integrate content into practice and education.
The program is online with synchronous and asynchronous components.
The program offers the opportunity to discuss case-based narratives but does not include clinical hours.
Letter grades are required.
CPA students are not eligible for financial aid.
Yes, the program focuses on palliative care throughout the lifespan (perinatal, pediatric, adult and geriatric) in all care settings and has a unique curriculum including a seminar providing context for the discussion of therapeutic communication, assessment and management of pain and symptoms, and ethical issues within specific populations. SON faculty having expertise in these areas will guide the case-based discussions.