If you need information in another format from our website please contact us by email: janet.hall@nipec.hscni.net or enquiries@nipec.hscni.net or phone us on 0300 300 0066.

Palliative Care Nurse Specialist

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice
  • Education

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

My main role is symptom management.

Advice and support to patients and their families.

Work closely with local Hospice/ Acute CNS/ Palliative Consultants/ GP'S

Carry out a specialist/ holistic palliative care assessment on all patients.

Responsible for a designated caseload of patients.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I am currently undertaking Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing- Palliative Care Pathway. (To use the title Specialist a NMC recordable Specialist Practice Qualification is required since 2016)

I completed the Princess Alice Certificate in Palliative Care.

I completed Advanced Communication Course.

I was previously a District Charge Nurse prior to this post, and  I had the opportunity to care for palliative/ patients near end of life.


Career Milestones

I started my nursing career gaining experience in both general medicine and general surgery. I then spent almost 10 years working in a community setting both as a Staff Nurse and Charge Nurse. During this time I cared for a range of patients who required palliative care.

Diploma in Nursing Adult Branch

BSC Hons in Community and Public Health Nursing.

Princess Alice Certificate in Palliative Care.


What attracted you to this job?

I always enjoyed the palliative care aspect of district nursing, and wanted to become a Specialist Nurse in this are of practice.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Controlling symptoms that patients experience such as pain and breathlessness, hence improving their quality of life.

Supporting patients and their families in the palliative and end of life stages of care.

Knowing my input makes a difference to patients and their families.


Challenging aspects of the job/role

Caring for younger patients.

Complex symptom management.

Undertaking Post Graduate study whilst continuing with the day job.

Dealing with distressed families.


Important success factors

Execellent induction to the post

Assigned to an experienced Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Very supportive team.

Developing my knowledge and skills in Palliative Care.

Meeting on a regular basis my Sign of Mentor who is an experienced practitioner.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

I would strongly recommend anyone interested  in Palliative care to consider this as a career t. I really enjoy my job but it can be stressful and emotionally draining at times. When you specialise in any area of practice, you must be prepared to undertake further education in the field.


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

Breaking bad news, dealing with difficult situations and distressed families.

Advanced skills in symptom management.

Leadership skills.

Developing skills in the use of PARIS (Patient-Centred Information System).


Share this page