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Board Updates



“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” (Marcel Proust).

Successful organizations possess the ability to adapt to the changing environment, while staying true to their mission. Over the past two years, the Board of Directors and leadership have spent considerable time assessing the strengths and opportunities of the association. We are committed to being the professional organization that represents the specialty of Palliative Nursing. In 2013, the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) developed a Vision Statement “To Transform the Care and Culture of Serious Illness” and also revised our Mission Statement, “To Advance Expert Care in Serious Illness." We also affirmed the Pillars of Education, Leadership, Advocacy and Research.

In January 2014, the HPNA, National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN®) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation (HPNF) Boards held a joint retreat. The purpose of the retreat was for the 3 organizations to identify key opportunities and strategies to work more “in alliance” and identify common strategic objectives. During the first quarter of 2014, the three organizations adopted a formal charter. The charter delineates the process and identifies opportunities for enhanced collaboration and synergy among the three organizations. A Joint Strategy Council has been established. The Council membership consists of two representatives from each of the organizations and the CEO and COO. Both NBCHPN® and HPNF formally adopted the HPNA Mission and Vision.

The organizations have agreed upon the Pillars as being Leadership, Advocacy, Research and Education (HPNA and HFNF) and Competence (NBCHPN®). Each organization has also developed descriptive language related to each of their Pillars. This language demonstrates how the work of each organization will contribute to and support the shared Mission and Vision. The Joint Strategy Council met in April to develop the process for joint strategic planning and to identify the areas of shared strategic planning for the 2015 Strategic Plan. The Council has agreed that the three organizations will collaborate on developing strategies related to Branding, Image and Communication. Other areas targeted for collaborative efforts are research and growth strategies.

As the healthcare environment is rapidly changing around us, we are looking at our organizations with “new eyes” and a keen sense of focus. This focus will enable us to develop and implement strategic initiatives which promote and support the work of hospice and palliative nurses and promote the valuable contributions of Palliative Nursing within our healthcare system.


Jennifer Gentry, RN MSN ANP BC ACHPN® FPCN®

President, HPNA Board of Directors


Sally Welsh, MSN, RN, NEA-BC






Proposed revision of HPNA By-Law related to the Mission Statement.   Online voting was conducted in October 2013 and the revision was approved by membership.



Updates from the July 2013 HPNA Board of Directors Meeting:


1.    The Critical Messaging Protocol was revised.

In response to member feedback obtained in the recent Communication Survey, the policy was amended to remove the use of postal mail to notify Members of critical information and to add that the Members will be notified by e-newsletter, email, website notices, and in the Association pages in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, as time allows due to the publication schedule for the journal.


2.    The contract for the Journal of Palliative Medicine (JPM) was renewed.

The contract was extended for 3 additional years, beginning in 2014.


3.    The results of the recent Membership votes regarding changes to the By-Laws were reported and accepted.

A.   The Membership voted to approve a reduction in the size of the Board.

B.   The Membership voted to approve the ability to appoint a non-member to the Board, as appropriate.

This By-Law change was originally proposed due to the Board’s work in evaluating the efficiency and efficacy of the Board. The decision will also reduce costs for Board travel.


4.    The Board appointed Patrick Coyne and Ginger Marshall as new Board Members for 2014 and reappointed Judy Bartel and Jennifer Gentry for second terms.


5.    American Academy of Nursing - Nurse Leader in Aging Award nominees were discussed.

The Board briefly discussed potential nominees and their qualifications for this award. The deadline to submit names is August 12. The Board plans to nominate an HPNA member, if we can obtain the required sponsorship through AAN.


6.    2014 Awards Winners were approved for the following Awards:

  •  New Investigator Award
  •  HPNA Presidential Citation Award

        (Winners will be announced at the 2014 Annual Assembly.) 

7.      Student Membership status was modified.

Beginning January 2014, RN student Members (those currently enrolled in an accredited education program) may apply for Student Membership status. The dues will be $55.00/year. Student Members will have voting privileges and will have electronic access to JHPN. The Board addressed this motion in response to Member requests made at the Annual Membership meeting in March 2013.


8.    The following Position Statements were approved:

  • Assuring High Quality in Palliative Nursing
  • Shortage of Registered Nurses
  • The Role of Palliative Care in Organ and Tissue Donation

9.    Barbara Usher’s resignation was accepted, with regret.




New Benefits for HPNA Members in 2013


As announced in January 2013 by Board President Barbara Head PhD, RN, CHPN, FPCN, ACSW in a letter to all HPNA members, there are new directions and new benefits for members this year.  In 2012 the Board and National Office staff evaluated our operations on three important levels: member benefit, board leadership and technology resources. To this end, we surveyed both members and non-members to learn about their perceptions and needs related to professional membership organizations and important benefits. Two of the major goals of this analysis were to identify ways that we could (1) increase value to our membership and (2) enhance our overall operational effectiveness and efficiencies.

Member feedback has been and is key to providing you with benefits that impact your practice as hospice and palliative professionals. The Board announced three exciting NEW membership benefits in 2013:


1) FREE: All E-Learning online courses.  Designated pharmacology hours are identified as appropriate for the course.


2) Opportunity to participate in AchieveLinks, a unique rewards program developed exclusively for members of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. When you activate your account, you’ll be eligible to earn valuable LinksSM reward points for purchases. You can shop on-line with over 850 companies you already know and trust. You earn Links on each of your purchases. As you accumulate Links you will be able to redeem them for all kinds of exciting must-have merchandise and once in a lifetime experiences.


3) Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing (JHPN) is launching a dynamic iPad app which combines the reading experience of print with enhanced features and tools. This will be first viewed during the 2013 AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly.      



Proposed By-Law Changes for June 2013 online election


As previously communicated in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing and the electronic newsletter, we have begun the transition to a competency-based board model.  The board nomination and selection process has been revised.  We will submit a proposed by-law revision for approval which will reduce the number of board positions from 12 to 7. Streamlining the Board will enable effective, efficient decision-making while cutting the costs for board travel. We are also looking at online meetings and other efficiencies, which will save both time and money.


The savings of having a smaller, more efficient board will provide additional funds to support membership programs and services. In 2012, we created and filled the position of Director of Professional Practice. In 2013, we are adding support for a communication specialist/copywriter to assist with the development of educational products, position statements and public communications.


This by-law change will be formally introduced at the Annual Membership Meeting in March, and voting members will vote on it electronically in the summer.   If approved, this by-law change would go into effect as of January 2014.  The Board Development and Leadership Committee will implement the change over 3 years.  Link here to the detailed description of the proposed change and related rationale.  


In June, 2013 the HPNA Membership voted in favor of implementing these two by-law changes.   


2012 Assocation project

In 2012, the HPNA Board, in partnership with the staff of the National Office, has embarked on a journey of self-reflection and preparation for a change in course. On the heels of developing our three-year strategic plan, the Board recognized that the needs of members are changing, and the membership organization must consider how to re-tool to meet those changing needs. Guided by a recent publication titled Race for Relevance1, the Board is considering three key domains of association leadership and membership. First, we are taking a critical look at the board member competencies that support governance today and in the future. We’ve typically sought Board members who are representative of our membership’s practice areas and geographic locations. While we haven’t abandoned those notions of representativeness, we are also considering what additional skill sets and capabilities would contribute to governance of a dynamic, nimble and member value-focused Board. For example, do we need input from a consumer representative? Are there business or technology capabilities that we are missing? Second, under the direction of CEO Sally Welsh, the national office staff is gathering data that will help us to understand member value. We have surveyed members in the past about our products and services, and in the current effort we are going beyond the standard questions and gathering intelligence about why members join any membership organization, what services delight and which fail to inspire, and why do some nurses not renew membership. Finally, we will develop a technology plan to support emerging member needs, making access to information and services easier and more portable and immediate than ever. We are confident that this effort will sharpen our focus and assure HPNA’s relevance to your needs – today and in the future.

1 Book citation (Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations; 2011; by Harrison Coever, and Mary Byers, CAE)