HPCC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

HPCC DEIB Style Guide Now Available

HPCC DEIB Task Force, staff, and leaders from across the country created HPCC’s first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Style Guide, modeled after the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) DEIB Style Guide and structured by the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide for Bias-Free Language. It attempts to answer common questions and provide thoughtful guidance on topics that may arise when creating or editing content.

HPCC welcomes credentialing organizations, professional associations, and other interested stakeholders to download and incorporate this document into similar DEIB organizational initiatives. HPCC hopes that the Style Guide will be a valuable resource for many organizations and a potential catalyst for larger DEIB conversations. HPCC welcomes feedback on the Style Guide. Please submit feedback or comments here. HPCC will regularly review these comments and work to improve the Style Guide moving into the future.

HPCC DEIB Style Guide

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Differential Item Functioning (DIF) Analysis of the CHPN® Certification Exam

In June 2023, the HPCC Board of Directors initiated a DIF analysis of data from the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN®) program, which has the largest number of certificants, allowing for the review and analysis of statistically significant data. One of the goals of the DIF analysis is to identify potential bias in exam questions. The analysis, using Item Response Theory (IRT), also includes the identification of DIF. An item is identified as having DIF if candidates of different demographic groups (race, gender, etc.) who had the same overall test performance differed in their probability of answering a specific exam item correctly.

The HPCC staff is working with PSI to remove exam questions identified through the analysis as having DIF, either positive or negative, from our current exams and to allow the DEIB Task Force and other stakeholder groups to review the items for future viability.

Advocating for Diversity on HPCC Committees

HPCC advocates for DEIB in our volunteer opportunities. Invitations for all volunteer opportunities are sent to current certificants, and the staff takes great care in reviewing applications to include volunteers from various demographic and geographic backgrounds. Additionally, targeted outreach to underrepresented certificant and stakeholder populations continues to be a focus area of the organization.

Exam Item Development Focused on Inclusive Language and Regular Reviews

Members of the HPCC Examination Development Committees (EDCs) regularly review pretest and exam questions for inclusive language, using the DEIB Style Guide as a resource, to ensure they are free from stereotypes, overt and subtle discrimination, and negative messages. Ongoing review of language included in exam items enables HPCC to offer examinations that are culturally aware and inclusive. This work continues to be a focus for HPCC’s EDCs and will be prioritized during future exam development efforts.

HPCC Looks Forward to the Future

HPCC acknowledges that there is significant work ahead and is committed to continued growth of the DEIB Task Force, evaluation of comprehensive differential analysis, efforts to advocate for diversity within HPCC’s volunteer committees, and transparent exam development processes. Fully completing these initiatives will take time, but HPCC is confident that the results will help the entire organization move forward into a more inclusive future. The Board of Directors and staff look forward to continued growth in these areas as we strive to be the premier national credentialing organization that advances expert care in serious illness.

Role of the DEIB Task Force

The purpose of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Task Force is to assist and advise the HPCC Board in identifying internal and external barriers to achieving certification and providing opportunities to alleviate disparities and remove systematic biases.

Task Force Mission: To promote, monitor, and evaluate the organization’s progress toward the development of a culture and processes that prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Task Force Vision: A world in which those providing care as well as those receiving care, including historically marginalized populations, have the best available resources and support.

The DEIB Task Force was officially formed in June 2023. It consists of eight members, including the HPCC chief executive officer and the HPCC director of credentialing, with experience or expertise in DEIB. The HPCC Board of Directors (BOD) approved the development of this task force to assist in identifying external resources to increase the diversity of HPCC committee, Board, and staff members, to review documents and marketing material, to identify barriers to DEIB, to develop key assessment metrics, to review current demographic data, and to review the results of differential item functioning (DIF) analyses and reading level evaluations for all examinations.

2023 – 2024 HPCC DEIB Task Force members
  • Lawrence J. Fabrey, PhD (chair and HPCC board liaison)
  • Ginger Marshall, MSN, ACNP-BC, ACHPN®, FPCN (HPCC CEO)
  • Claudia Beureuse, RN, BSN, MHA, CHPN®
  • Jason Gordon Gray, DNP, APRN, FNP BC
  • Tammy (Titania) Watkins, RN, MSN, APRN ACHPN®
  • Christy Apple, APRN, ACNPC AG, ACHPN®
  • Ottamissiah (Missy) Moore, BS, CHPN®, WCC, DWC
  • Nicole DePace, MS, APRN, GNP BC, ACHPN®
  • Denise Ross, MSN, ED, BSN, RN, CHPN®
  • Annette Parry Bush, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN®, ICE-CCP (HPCC staff liaison)