“POLARIS is an excellent teaching tool for understanding hospice and palliative care. I thoroughly enjoyed working through each module and I feel better equipped to begin my career as a hospice nurse. It helped to answer many of my questions about hospice care.”

POLARIS is a state-of-the-art eLearning resource consisting of 13 modules that are designed to provide essential practice knowledge for clinicians working with hospice and palliative care patients. HPNA is pleased to present this robust educational offering to equip nurses to do what they do best – provide compassionate care.

POLARIS eLearning modules are:

  • self-paced
  • interactive
  • structured with shorts bursts of information
  • engaging, with learning activities such as case studies and videos
  • available in multiple purchase options
  • eligible for NCPD hours

Purchase Options

Individual Modules


This purchase option gives the individual user access to only the modules that interest you.

$20/module for members
$30/module for non-members

Total Package


This purchase option gives the individual user access to all 13 modules for one bundle price.

$200 for members
$300 for non-members

Orientation Program


This purchase option gives the individual user access to the Total Package + an orientation program, which includes a learner and a preceptor guide.

$275 for members
$375 for non-members

Description of Modules

Module 1: Hospice and Palliative Nursing Overview
This overview provides learners with key concepts surrounding the holistic approach to hospice and palliative nursing. The module explores what it’s like to be a palliative care or hospice nurse and illustrates what it takes to be effective in delivering optimal patient and family centered nursing care.

2 NCPD hours

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Module 2: Exploring the Interdisciplinary Team, Care Coordination, and Settings
This module outlines the structures and processes of palliative care delivery, including interdisciplinary team roles and responsibilities, team communication and dynamics, and how the team supports delivery of optimal care across all settings.

1.5 NCPD hours

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Module 3: Facilitating Patient and Family Communication
Effective communication is vital to recognizing all aspects of a patient’s and family’s experience, including anticipatory grief and family needs. This module describes techniques to facilitate communication and gain skills necessary to hold difficult conversations, including advance care planning discussions.

2.5 NCPD hours

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Module 4: Performing a Holistic Assessment for the Seriously Ill
This module is designed to provide a holistic approach to performing a comprehensive assessment of a palliative care or hospice patient, including physical, psychosocial, and spiritual components. Creating a plan of care that focuses on the needs of the patient and family is also covered.

2 NCPD hours

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Module 5: Assessing Pain: Principles and the Use of Validated Tools
This module presents learners with principles of a comprehensive pain assessment and links validated assessment tools and techniques. It explores the types of pain, common misconceptions, and perceived barriers to an optimal pain assessment.

2.5 NCPD hours

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Module 6: Managing Pain: Nonpharmacological and Pharmacological Interventions
Several topics related to pain management are covered in this module, including the effects of unrelieved pain and its impact on functional status and quality of life. Both nonpharmacological and pharmacological approaches are addressed. the module includes guidelines on the use of opioids, equianalgesic conversation guides, and other therapeutic interventions available to support optimal pain management for patients with serious illness.

3 NCPD hours

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Module 7: Missing Symptoms: Cardiac and Respiratory
This module provides an overview of common symptoms that are encountered in patients who experience cardiac and respiratory issues. This module describes the etiologies, characteristics, and interventions for these conditions and introduces strategies to help improve the functional status and quality of life for patients. It includes both nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatment options.

2.5 NCPD hours

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Module 8: Managing Symptoms: GI, GU, and Integumentary
This module provides an overview of common symptoms encountered in patients who experience GI, GU, and integumentary issues. This module describes the etiologies, characteristics, and interventions for these conditions and introduces strategies to help improve the functional status and quality of life for patients. It includes both nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatment options.

3 NCPD hours

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Module 9: Managing Neurological and Psychological Symptoms
This module provides an overview of common symptoms encountered in patients who experience neurological issues and addresses common mental health challenges that are often seen with hospice and palliative care patients. This module describes the etiologies, characteristics, and interventions for these conditions and introduces strategies to help improve the functional status and quality of life for patients. It includes both nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatment options.

2 NCPD hours

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Module 10: Illness Progression and Urgent Syndromes Overview
This module provides insight into the expected disease trajectories and characteristics of advanced illnesses such as cancer, advanced heart failure, advanced lung disease, end-stage liver disease, advanced renal failure, and dementia. It also explores potential urgent medical syndromes near the end of life, secondary to disease progression.

3 NCPD hours

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Module 11: Care of the Patient Nearing the End of Life
This module provides insight into the active dying process and the nurse’s role in caring for patients nearing the end of life. It addresses common symptoms that occur when death is nearing and shares interventions that can help ease family concerns during this critical period.

2 NCPD hours

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Module 12: Exploring Ethical Issues in Palliative Care
Medical care in today’s world is quite complex; numerous advances in technology provide a wide array of potential treatment options for patients and caregivers. This module covers key ethical principles and challenges that may occur in hospice and palliative care.

2 NCPD hours

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Module 13: Integrating Self-Care Strategies
Caring for those with serious illness can be difficult to cope with. This module addresses the importance of integrating self-care strategies to manage moral distress and the impact of compassion fatigue.

2 NCPD hours

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Refund Policy

POLARIS Individual Modules: HPNA does not offer refunds or cancellation on individual, stand-alone POLARIS module purchases.

POLARIS Total Package or POLARIS Orientation Program: Refunds are permitted within 15 days of purchase, minus a $75 administrative fee. No refunds will be provided if a CE certificate has been awarded. No refunds or cancellations will be permitted beyond 15 days after purchase. Please contact the HPNA Education Department in regard to cancellations at education@hpna.org. Cancellation requests must be received in writing.  

Group Purchases

Group purchase options are available through the Employer Partner Program. Contact EPPartnership@hpna.org or 412-282-8206 to learn more.

POLARIS FAQs

Click the button below to view a list of common questions and answers regarding POLARIS eLearning.

FAQs