Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hospice and Palliative Social Worker Certification

My organization is currently going through ELNEC (End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium) training. While only RNs and CNAs can currently take the ELNEC certification test, the executive director mandated that social workers and chaplains also attend these trainings. They are hoping they can at least get us CEUs and that someday they will offer us certification as well. However, a few months ago I found out that there is a certification for hospice and palliative care social workers out there. (Sorry I'm behind on posting!) The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) developed the certification for BSWs and MSWs. There's the Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (CHP-SW) option for BSWs or Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW) option for MSWs.

Basic requirements:
  • A degree in social work from an accredited university
  • At least two years of supervised social work experience in hospice and palliative care
  • A license to practice as a professional social worker
  • Twenty (20) or more CEU’s related specifically to the specialty practice
  • A commitment to compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics and NASW Standards for End Of Life Care
  • Professional affiliations with both the National Association of Social Workers and the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals, a division of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
There's a $165 application fee for the certification. Memberships with NASW and NHPCO kick up the cost a bit more. I'm not submitting my application until I find out what my employer will cover. Since they're paying for the ELNEC training, materials, and test costs for the RNs and CNAs, we social workers thought it would only be fair for our expenses to be covered too. I'm not holding my breath but it's nice to know this option is out there.

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