Primary Palliative Care Graduate Credit Certificate Program


Vinciya Pandian

Program CodePRPLCR
Campus(es)University Park

The Penn State College of Nursing offers a Graduate Certificate in Primary Palliative Care program. The primary goal of the program is to prepare individuals with a Bachelor’s or higher degree in Nursing or a related health discipline in the principles and practice of primary palliative care.

Effective Semester: Fall 2022
Expiration Semester: Fall 2027

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended are required.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing or a related health discipline from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

Prior to an applicant's admission, transcripts are evaluated by the program coordinator to ascertain the applicant's potential for successful completion of the core courses. A recommendation regarding admission is discussed with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research prior to making an offer of admission to this certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

The curriculum includes 6 credits (two 3 credit courses) of didactic content in primary palliative care and interdisciplinary management of advanced serious illness and one 3 credit course of the interdisciplinary practice of the palliative care role. The practicum course involves the application of knowledge acquired in previously completed courses related to primary palliative care. The practicum will build upon and extend students’ previous experiences and fulfill mutually agreed-upon objectives based on the student’s identified learning needs. All courses will be delivered using distance technology.

Required Courses
NURS 824Primary Palliative Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach3
NURS 825Primary Palliative Care: Interdisciplinary Management of Advanced Serious Illness3
NURS 826Interdisciplinary Practicum of the Primary Palliative Care Role3
Total Credits9


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the fundamentals of primary palliative care for providing person-centered care to individuals with advanced serious illness and their family members including pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations.
  2. Describe an interdisciplinary approach to primary palliative care.
  3. Describe the interdisciplinary management of persons with advanced serious illness and their family members.
  4. Demonstrate evidence-based management and communication with individuals with advanced serious illness and their family members in a healthcare setting.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary team.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Judith E Hupcey
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Sheri Matter
Program Contact

Cassidy Shull
201 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 865-0368

Program Website View