Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing Certificate

About the Program

The Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing (APPCN) Certificate was developed to educate nurses to better meet the needs of caring for patients who are seriously ill and dying and who require end-of-life and palliative care treatment. It is grounded in a holistic perspective that recognizes that the individual is part of a family, a community and a society.


Admission Requirements

The following criteria must be met for admissions:

  1. Baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75/4.00 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) hours.
  2. License to practice as a professional nurse in at least one political jurisdiction.

Certificate Requirements

In order to receive the Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing Certificate, students must complete the following courses:

APPCN Certificate Requirements

Course # Course Title and Description Semester Hours
NUEL 520 Dying, Loss & Grief 
Analysis of social, cultural, and psychological aspects of human grief, loss/death within families and professional caregivers surrounding palliative and end-of-life care.
NUEL 522 Palliative Management of Pain & Common Symptoms 
Evidence-base of biobehavioral strategies for palliative management of pain and common symptoms in life-limiting and chronic illness across the lifespan.
NUEL 524 Sociocultural & Ethical Issues in Palliative Care 
Using an ethics theoretical framework, this course explores social, cultural, and political factors that influence palliative care for clients and families across the life span. 



The courses can be taken in any sequence. See the Schedule of Classes for course offerings. No transfer credit will be accepted toward the certificate.

Academic Policies
Students in the APPCN Certificate are held to the academic policies of the UIC College of Nursing, which state that students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 (ÔÇ£BÔÇØ average) throughout the program. See the Academic Standards and PoliciesÔÇöGraduate section of the College of Nursing Student Handbook for more information. Students wishing to transfer academic credit earned in the certificate program to a graduate degree program must receive a minimum grade of ÔÇ£BÔÇØ in each course to be transferred.

Additional Requirements 
Students will need access to a computer and the Internet.

Other Information
The UIC certificate in Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing indicates that the student has completed the three required courses. Students who wish to pursue national certification in advanced palliative care nursing should see the Credentialing section of this website for further requirements and information.

How to Apply

APPLICATION DEADLINES: July 15th (Fall), November 15th (Spring)

The Certificate programs admit during the fall and spring semesters. Prospective students are encouraged to complete the application process early. All application materials must be submitted by the deadline for full consideration.

Steps to Apply

Current UIC Students

  • Current UIC Nursing AGMS, DNP, and PhD students who would like to complete the Palliative Care Certificate do not need to submit a new University Application. To add the certificate to your record, please e-mail Mike Spielman, Assistant Director of Admissions, at asking to add the certificate to  your program. Be sure to include your UIN and netid in your e-mail. Please note that once the program is added, you will need to meet with your advisor before registering for the Certificate courses.

Non-UIC Students

  • Complete a UIC Application at and select Campus Care - Palliative Care Nursing as your program.
  • The application will require you to upload a copy of your previous college transcripts as well as a resume or CV.
  • One letter of recommendation is required for Palliative care nursing applicants. Enter the name/e-mail of your reference when prompted in the application.


Additional materials are required of International applicants, including:

  • TOEFL OR IELTS scores
  • University or college issued transcripts or mark sheets for all undergraduate work in the original language
  • University or college issued transcripts or mark sheets for all post-baccalaureate work in the original language
  • Certified English translation of all credentials
  • Proof of all degrees awarded

Upon recommendation for admission from the College of Nursing, international applicants will be required to supply evidence of financial support for the first year of study. Visit the Office of Admissions' International Admission Requirements for further explanation of requirements.


Applications to Certificate programs will not be reviewed by College of Nursing faculty until after the application deadline for the semester in which the applicant is seeking admission. Applicants are generally notified of their admission status within 30 days of the application deadline.


Nondiscrimination Statement

The commitment of the University of Illinois to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms.

The University of Illinois will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran and will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities.

University complaint and grievance procedures provide employees and students with the means for the resolution of complaints that allege a violation of this Statement. Members of the public should direct their inquiries or complaints to the appropriate equal opportunity office.

Policy Council 
Revised May 31, 2005

For additional information or assistance with the equal opportunity, affirmative action, and harassment policies and procedures of the University of Illinois at Chicago, please contact:

Office for Access and Equity (M/C 602)
717 Marshfield Avenue Building 
809 South Marshfield Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60612-7207 
Phone: (312) 996-8670

Grievance Procedures

UIC is committed to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity involving students and employees. Freedom from discrimination is a foundation for all decision making at UIC. Students are encouraged to study the University's "Nondiscrimination Statement". Students are also urged to read the document "Public Formal Grievance Procedures". Information on these policies and procedures is available on the University web pages of the Office of Access and Equity:


Although a reversal of an initial decision is unlikely, an applicant may appeal a denial of admission. Appeals may be submitted only by the applicant and must contain significant new information that was not part of the original application. This does not include grades received after the after application deadline or missing application materials (including late recommendations).

If an applicant chooses to appeal, the appeal must specify the decision being challenged and the basis or bases for that challenge, and must request a specific remedy. Appeals must be in the form of a written request to the College of Nursing. Further details can be found on the Graduate College's University Regulations website.

Credentialing Information

Credentialing for hospice and palliative care nurses is provided by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN). The course work in the APPCN Certificate was designed to prepare students for the Certification Examination for Advanced Practice Hospice and Palliative Nurses.

To be eligible to sit for this examination, students must meet certain educational and practice requirements (see the NBCHPN Candidate Handbook for requirements). Students who have not met the 500 hours of supervised advanced clinical practice in palliative care requirement must arrange for this experience with their employer. Students enrolled in one of the UIC College of Nursing advanced practice programs should consult with their faculty advisor about arranging for clinical practicum hours in a palliative care setting.

Contact Us

For questions about the application process, contact:

UIC College of Nursing Office of Academic Programs

Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nurse

Palliative care nursing focuses on improving the quality of care of patients through serious, chronic, or terminal illness.  Through interdisciplinary team collaboration, the nurse provides palliative care in all specialties across all ages.  The demand for registered nurses and advance practice registered nurses with expertise in palliative care will continue to rise as the health care industry focuses on improving the patient experience and reducing suffering.

The palliative care certificate consists of three online graduate courses including evidence-based strategies for management of pain and common symptoms, social, cultural, and psychological aspects of human grief, and ethical & political factors that influence palliative care for clients and families across the life span. The certificate is appropriate for RNs & APRNs in acute care, home care, long-term care and community practice settings.