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How to become a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant

A Hospice CNA delivers comfort and support to people in the final stages of a terminal illness.  Nurse aides caring for someone who is dying can be demanding and it is important for the entire healthcare team involved with a terminal illness to take proper care of themselves as well. 

The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN®) is responsible for the development and oversight of certification for the specialty of nursing in hospice and palliative care.

In order to become certified as a hospice and palliative nursing assistant there are certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for the exam.

  • CNAs must have documentation of 2000 practice hours under the supervision of a RN in the past 2 years
  • A certified nursing assistant must have minimum of two years working experience in hospice and palliative nursing assistant practice

Individuals will be required to take the exam which consists of 110 questions that are distributed across 4 domains of practice for the care of an adult patient and family. This is shown in a detailed content outline located in the Candidate Handbook.  Candidates that sit for and pass the NA certification exam are granted the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant credential.

How Can Certified Nursing Assistants apply?
A candidate can apply for the NA certification exam online, through (the link is located  in the "What's Happening at NBCHPN" Announcement box on the right hand side of the home page) or by mailing their application to the testing company, Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). The certification examination for hospice and palliative nurses is offered at approximately 200 AMP test center locations.

Renew Your certification?
The Hospice and palliative CNA certification is recognized for a period of four years at which time the candidate must retake and pass the current Certification Examination for Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistants.

More information on certification in hospice and palliative care can be obtained by contacting the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses by email at or by calling the National Office at 412-787-1057