Public Policy Guiding Principles

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association asserts that it is the responsibility and obligation of clinicians 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. HPNA acts independently and with collaborating organizations to address hospice and palliative care issues at the national, state, local, and regional levels. HPNA serves on the board of the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and works collaboratively with other national coalitions.


2020 Advocacy Agenda

HPNA advocates for public policy and legislative and regulatory actions that address:

  • Ensuring access to comprehensive palliative care as defined by the National Consensus Project Clinical Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, across the lifespan and across the continuum of illness.
  • Promoting the ethical and competent provision of hospice and palliative care based upon the expressed goals and preferences of the patient and supplementary support of family caregivers. This includes relief of suffering in all its manifestations, including physical, psychological, social, and spiritual, to allow patients to achieve the highest quality of life. 
  • The legitimate use and appropriate access to medications in palliative care.
  • Sustainable funding for the advancement of nursing workforce programs and professional education as they impact hospice and palliative care. 
  • Sustainable funding for the advancement of hospice and palliative care research. 
  • Ensuring that nurses at all levels and in all jurisdictions may practice to the full extent of their professional license, with special emphasis on the practice of hospice and palliative nurses. 
  • Equitable access to palliative care and hospice 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. 


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

Guiding Principles