Public Policy Guiding Principles

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) asserts that clinicians have a responsibility and obligation to address hospice and palliative care public policy and regulatory issues that impact the health-related quality of life of patients and caregivers living with serious illness across the lifespan. HPNA acts independently and with collaborating organizations to address hospice and palliative care issues at the national, state, local, and regional levels. HPNA currently serves on the board of the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and regularly works with other national coalitions in a collaborative environment. The following statements serve as HPNA's guiding principles. 

HPNA advocates for legislative and regulatory initiatives that align with its Four Pillars of Excellence:


  • Ensure health equity in access to high-quality and evidence-based hospice and palliative care, as defined by the National Consensus Project clinical Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, regardless of social determinants of health, across the life continuum and care settings.
  • Improve access to hospice and palliative care services that are inclusive and non-discriminatory in relation to ability, age, education, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, political opinion, professional experience, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
  • Promote quality-of-life through high-quality and evidence-based specialty hospice and palliative care which incorporates an ethical, holistic, interdisciplinary, patient-centered model of care to decrease symptom burden and emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial suffering from serious and/or life-limiting illness experienced by patients, families, and caregiver teams. 


  • Work with lawmakers across the country and political spectrum to promote the principles and ideals within hospice and palliative care nursing. serve as a non-partisan organization that gives equal consideration to legislation and regulatory rules regardless of political party, jurisdiction, chamber of Congress, caucus membership, and committee standing. 
  • Ensure timely access to evidence-based medications and treatments intended to palliate the symptoms of chronic and serious illness. 
  • Support patients' right to exercise their autonomy in making personal health care decisions. 
  • Work with lawmakers across the country and political spectrum to increase access to and completion of advance care planning. 


  • Advance scholarly work and research within the nursing workforce in an effort to promote relevance, meaning, impact, and sustainability across nursing roles and settings to meet the high volumes of ever-evolving quality-of-life needs of each unique patient, family, and caregiver unit. This includes an organizational focus on incorporating hospice and palliative care into national quality measures and research initiatives. 


  • Support, educate, engage, and empower all nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their education, training, licensure, and certification across their professional roles and varied workplace settings.
  • Develop a sustainable and diverse workforce of nurses with specialized education and training in hospice and palliative care. 

Developed 2010, revised July 2012, July 2014, July 2018, November 2020, October 2022

Guiding Principles