How Do You Become Certified to Work in a Hospice?

Certification for hospice work is obtained by completing an exam geared toward the specific type of hospice in which the person plans to work. Certification is available for nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, pediatric nurses and doctors. Social workers and chaplains are also eligible for hospice certification.

Those in the hospice nursing field are certified through the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. Applicants can submit an online application to take the certification test, which is administered by computer at select test locations. Similar examinations are offered to hospice doctors through the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Social workers with bachelor's degrees wishing to become certified hospice workers can do so through the National Association of Social Workers. Those with master's degrees in social work can become Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Workers through the same organization. To obtain this certification, they must have a current license, accumulate at least 20 continuing education units focusing on hospice care and work as a social worker in a hospice environment for at least two years.

To become certified to work in a hospice, individuals must demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience. Certification opens many opportunities for employees, such as continuing education, professional improvement and personal growth. For example, certified nurses can serve on the Board of Directors for the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. They can also apply for awards or scholarships and earn discounts on recertification costs.