The Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse Exam is designed and maintained by the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center or HPCC. This exam is required for all those seeking to be CHPN and demonstrates that you have the experience, knowledge, and skills needed for this specialty field.
Who is Eligible?
Candidates for the CHPN must have:
- A current and unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license
- At least 500 hours of hospice and palliative nursing experience in the last 12 months or 1000 hours in the last two years.
There is a fee of $260 for Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association or HPNA members to take this exam and $415 for non-members.
When and Where is it Taken?
The CHPN is computer administered and taken through PSI/AMP at one of over 200 of their nationwide locations. These can be scheduled during four one-month testing windows. The CHPN is given twice daily, Monday through Friday.
An application period opens three months prior to the testing window. The application deadline is no later than two weeks before the testing window for online applicants and no later than 6 weeks for paper applicants. You will be provided with a complete list of available dates, times, and locations during registration.
It is recommended that you register as early as possible because space and seating may be limited at some locations. Seating is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Special accommodations can be made for those with disabilities and who may not be able to test under normal conditions. You must contact AMP in writing of this request at the time of application.
What Should I Bring?
It is important to arrive early for your scheduled exam as there is a check-in process to be completed before the exam begins. Those who arrive late will not be allowed to test and will have to reschedule and forfeit all fees paid up to that point.
The check-in process will require that you submit two forms of personal identification upon arrival. These must be current and valid, containing your full name as it appears on your application and your signature. Your primary ID must also include a recent and recognizable photo.
No personal items are allowed in the testing area, including but not limited to cell phones, watches, pencils, and calculators. Scratch paper and writing utensils will be provided for you. All personal items will be kept in a separate and secure area during the exam.
What is Covered?
This exam is made up of 150 multiple choice questions. 15 of these are unidentified pretest questions that will not count toward your score. You will be given three hours to complete the exam.
Patient Care: Life-limiting Conditions in Adult Patients 18%
Identify and respond to indicators of imminent death and identify specific patterns of progression, complications, and treatment for conditions
Patient Care: Pain Management 22%
Pharmacological interventions, assessment, and non-pharmacological and complementary interventions
Patient Care: Symptom Management 24%
Mental status changes, immune/lymphatic system, nutritional and metabolic, psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual, musculoskeletal, skin and mucous membrane, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological
Patient and Family Care, Education, and Advocacy 24%
Goals of Care, Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural, grief and loss, caregiver support, advocacy, resource management, education
Practice Issues 12%
Care coordination, collaboration, scope, standards, and guidelines, professional development
Each question is categorized into three skill sets types. These are as follows:
- Recall questions – test your ability to remember specific information (22%)
- Application questions – ask you to apply your knowledge to certain situations (60%)
- Analysis questions – assess your ability to analyze and evaluate information based on certain scenarios (18%)
You are not penalized for making educated guesses and are encouraged to do so if you are unsure of the correct answer and running out of time. However, you may also bookmark questions and return to them later.
How is it Scored?
You will be given your score report upon completion of your exam at the testing site. This will include your pass/fail status, a total scaled score, and raw scores for each category of the exam.
Your raw scores are the number of correctly answered questions equally weighted. This is converted into a scaled score based on the difficulty of the questions contained on your version of the exam. You must receive a minimum scaled score of 75 out of 99 possible to be considered passing.
If you pass, you will be rewarded with the CHPN credential. A CHPN certification is valid for four years before it will need to be renewed. This renewal is done by applying for and retaking this exam.
Those who fail the exam are allowed to retake it by reapplying and paying an application fee at any time. Your raw scores for each section will help you understand what areas you will need to be better prepared for.
How Can I Prepare for the CHPN Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!