Photo: Palliatuve Care

The Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner (PCNP) is a nurse who is prepared at the master’s level as an advanced practice nurse to practice in a variety of clinical settings. The PCNP works collaboratively with palliative care teams to provide holistic interdisciplinary care to promote quality of life and ameliorate stress for clients with life limiting illnesses and their family caregivers across the illness trajectory. Palliative care, like nursing, focuses on pain and symptom management, patient advocacy and education of the patient and family caregivers. The alignment of palliative care and nursing with emphasis on holistic care of the patient’s body, mind and spirit, to serve the patient and family caregivers, and to take patient wishes into account when designing plans of care positions the PCNP as a leader in the field. The PCNP is expert in understanding disease states and prognoses and providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic management with the goal of improving quality of life. The PCNP also excels in effective communication with patients, family caregivers, team members, and collaborators in setting patient-driven goals of care and providing supportive care. PCNPs are employed in a wide variety of health care settings where palliative care services are offered to clients of all ages. These settings may include, but are not limited to the following: hospitals, outpatient care clinics, home health care, long-term care facilities, palliative care units, and hospice units. Palliative care experts are in high demand due to the need for palliative care services (rural and urban) significantly out weighing the supply of these experts.

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Advanced Palliative Care Subspecialty Overview

Didactic content is provided in 2 palliative care subspecialty courses and provides the student with a strong advanced primary care base for caring for patients with common health problems. Students who start course work in the summer semester will take 2 semesters to complete the program.  

Certification and Licensure


Once you successfully complete the course work, you will have successfully obtained the didactic education requirements for your portfolio towards the national certification examination for your specialty. Nurse Practitioners also are licensed by the states in which they practice and are subject to the rules and regulations of that state's practice act.

For more information:

Richard Taylor, DNP, APRN-BC
Subspecialty Course Coordinator
(205) 934.5196 |


The Master's Degree Program in Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (