Palliative Care

Hospice and palliative care, which includes spiritual care, is provided in settings ranging from hospitals to nursing facilities, retirement centers, dedicated facilities, and the home. Research, educational materials and other resources for chaplains in palliative care are available on the Transforming Chaplaincy website. Palliative care is not restricted to end-of-life circumstances, but rather addresses patients’ suffering at all points of a medical and/or spiritual event. Resources of interest include the following. If you’ve got more resources you think we should include on this sector, let us know at

Collected resources


Training for chaplains

Further reading

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


is the professional organization for physicians specializing in hospice and palliative medicine, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Since 1988, the Academy has dedicated itself to advancing hospice and palliative medicine and improving the care of patients with serious illness. Our activities focus on education and training, resources, networking, and advocacy. Learn more about these activities and more in the AAHPM Annual Report video.

The Academy’s core mission is to expand access of patients and families to high-quality palliative care and advance the discipline of hospice and palliative medicine through professional education and training, development of a specialist workforce, support for clinical practice standards, research, and public policy. The core purpose of the Academy is to improve the care of patients with life-threatening or serious conditions through the advancement of hospice and palliative medicine.

The California State University Institute for Palliative Care

Palliative care education and training is more important now then ever before. The California State University Institute for Palliative Care’s professional development programs are designed to ensure health care professionals have the skills to provide great patient care. Incorporating the latest in evidence-based palliative care practices, these online courses are practical and highly interactive. All programs provide Continuing Education Hours and some offer BRN, BBS, and CME hours.

For chaplaincy, an all-new 8-week instructor-led online course was developed in conjunction with the Association for Professional Chaplains (APC®). The growing demand for palliative care means a higher level of skills are needed to work within an interdisciplinary team in any health care setting. Are you prepared? This course enhances the ability of chaplains to support patients and loved ones facing the challenges of serious and chronic illness by building a strong foundation of knowledge and practice in palliative care chaplaincy.

Center to Advance Palliative Care

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) provides the essential tools, training, technical assistance, and metrics to build and sustain palliative care in all health care settings.

GWISH Global Network for Spirituality and Health

GNSAH was formed to enhance the provision of high quality comprehensive and compassionate care to patients and families globally through the integration of spirituality into health systems. The role of this network is to provide a way members can work together to more fully integrate spiritual care, including training, service delivery, and standards into health systems.


The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation have leveraged strategic and operational synergies and adopted shared mission and vision statements and common pillars of excellence.

Shared Mission – To advance expert care in serious illness
Shared Vision – To transform the care and culture of serious illness
Pillars of Excellence – Education, competence, advocacy, leadership, research

We have identified five enterprise-wide global strategies from our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan:

  • Develop and implement an enterprise-wide marketing and communications programs;
  • Develop and make available best-in-class palliative care resources;
  • Solidify and strengthen relationships with organizations that can extend the reach of the organization;
  • Implement technology improvements and advances to position the organization for long-term growth and success; and
  • Expand and refine the employer program to drive continued growth.

National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition, create a blueprint for excellence by establishing a comprehensive foundation for gold-standard palliative care for all people living with serious illness, regardless of their diagnosis, prognosis, age or setting.

The guidelines were developed by the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, comprised of 16 national organizations with extensive expertise in palliative care and hospice. The 4th edition was endorsed and supported by more than 80 national organizations.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.

Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s wishes. Emotional and spiritual support also is extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the patient’s home or in a home-like setting operated by a hospice program. Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid in most states cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.

With headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization advocates for the terminally ill and their families. It also develops public and professional educational programs and materials to enhance understanding and availability of hospice and palliative care; convenes frequent meetings and symposia on emerging issues; provides technical informational resources to its membership; conducts research; monitors Congressional and regulatory activities; and works closely with other organizations that share an interest in end of life care.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization was founded in 1978 as the National Hospice Organization. The organization changed its name in February 2000 to include palliative care. Many hospice care programs added palliative care to their names to reflect the range of care and services they provide, as hospice care and palliative care share the same core values and philosophies. Defined by the World Health Organization in 1990, palliative care seeks to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care extends the principles of hospice care to a broader population that could benefit from receiving this type of care earlier in their illness or disease process. To better serve individuals who have advanced illness or are terminally ill and their families, many hospice programs encourage access to care earlier in the illness or disease process. Health care professionals who specialize in hospice and palliative care work closely with staff and volunteers to address all the symptoms of illness, with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity.

Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network

SWHPN is a network of psychosocial hospice and palliative professionals dedicated to advancing best practices in palliative and hospice in caring for those with serious illness, and advancing the field on behalf of those caregivers.

SWHPN champions professional development, new research and ongoing advocacy in palliative and hospice social work.

Our members are dedicated to improving psychosocial care for the seriously ill, providing relief from pain, improving quality of life, supporting family and friends, assisting with difficult decision-making, and help in dealing with trauma, grief and loss.

SWHPN represents a broad coalition of social work and psychosocial practitioners and organizations, supporting and driving initiatives and programs to strengthen the voice of the caregiver across interdisciplinary forums and advocate for social work and psychosocial caregivers within the larger hospice and palliative care community.