Palliative Care Subspecialty

Subspecialties are specialty areas not considered primary areas of advanced practice nursing. Students in all programs can add these subspecialties if they are pursuing any appropriate area of advanced practice nursing.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care (PC) is a specialized focus in healthcare which seeks to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with serious illness, such as cancer, CHF, COPD, ESRD, ALS, Diabetes, Dementia, and many other diseases. The focus is the holistic care of the patient and the family, including the body, mind and spirit. PC specialists work together with a patient’s other providers to offer an extra layer of support in chronic illness management, symptom control, and exploring goals of care. PC is appropriate at any stage of illness, can be provided along with curative treatment, and can be provided to any age patient.


▼   Curriculum

The Palliative Care subspecialty includes 3 didactic courses (2 credit hours each) and 180 hours (3 credit hours) of direct patient clinical hours. The content covers the broad philosophies and concepts of palliative care, as well as symptom and chronic disease management.

The clinical portion of the program can be tailored to the needs of each individual student. For those pursuing a DNP, the focus of their capstone project can be palliative in nature, and thus count as indirect hours towards national certification. These palliative clinical hours can be broken into 60 hour increments (1 credit hour each) to fit student needs.

The sub-specialty preparation in Palliative Care can be added to the MSN or DNP programs or may be completed as a post-graduate student in the following specialty areas: AG Primary NP, AG Acute NP, AG CNS, Family NP.

**Didactic courses are consecutive, and must be taken in the order listed, beginning summer term**

  • AHN 530 – Foundations of Palliative Care and the Advanced Practice Role (2 credit hours) Summer
  • AHN 531 – Advanced Palliative Care and End of Life (2 credit hours) Fall
  • AHN 532 – Advanced Chronic Illness Care (2 credit hours) Spring
  • AHN 533 – Advanced Palliative Care Practicum (180 to 500 Clinical Hours) (3-9 credit hours). These are offered as variable clinical hours, and may be taken in 60 hour increments as needed on an individual basis.

Graduates are prepared to complete national certification as a palliative care provider.

▼   Subspecialty Admissions

Students currently in a graduate program may add a subspecialty to their current schedule without applying for admission to that subspecialty.  Students should contact their advisor for assistance with a new curriculum schedule.

Prospective students who only want to return to complete a Post Graduate Certificate subspecialty are required to contact the graduate advisor for the MSN program and complete the appropriate admission requirements.


Please feel free to contact Dr. Ellen Moore for more information about this specialty:

For questions about Master or Post Master’s Certificate enrollment, contact
For questions about DNP or BSN to DNP enrollment, contact