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About the Program

The Interprofessional Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care and Master of Science Degree in Palliative Care aim to ease suffering worldwide through exemplary palliative care education. These programs develop Palliative Care Community Specialists through innovative educational pedagogies designed to facilitate learning for healthcare providers and allied health professionals in up-to-date, evidence-based, interdisciplinary palliative care concepts using a hybrid learning environment that offers flexible online and live application-based approaches.

Biomedical and Allied Health Professional Tracks provide specialized content in addition to the core curriculum. Program courses are delivered in an interprofessional learning environment that mirrors the palliative care work setting. The program focuses on advancing clinical knowledge; developing clinical wisdom;, building an evidence-based palliative care practice; enhancing communication skills; and addressing physical, psychological, social, and spiritual suffering.

Program Overview

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized care for people with serious and life-limiting illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from pain and non-pain symptoms, and supporting patients and family caregivers through expert psycho-social-spiritual support to better manage the stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family caregiver. Palliative care is provided by a team of nurses, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, spiritual care providers, mental health providers, and other specialists who work together with a patient to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

Becoming a Palliative Care Community Specialist

The University of Colorado's Interprofessional Graduate Palliative Care Certificate and Master of Science in Palliative Care (MSPC) prepares providers—physicians, nurses (including BSN and advanced practice nurses), physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual care providers, psychologists, therapists, counselors and ethicists — to be Palliative Care (PC) Community Specialists. PC Community Specialists provide high quality palliative consultation and care to patients and families in their own communities, giving them the choice of treatment outside an academic tertiary medical center. Additionally, PC Community Specialists, representing secondary palliative care, are linked to tertiary care experts through this comprehensive educational program. PC Community Specialists bridge a network of services to better support the needs of patients and family caregivers across the continuum of illness and care settings.

Certificate Option

Degree Option

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