2.13.2014

Hospice Nurse Earns Certification

Joan Berthiaume, RN, BA, CHPN, an Agency Advancement Leader at Hospice of the North Country, earned certification in hospice and palliative care from the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN).

Berthiaume achieved certification by demonstrating knowledge and skills in life-limiting conditions, pain management, symptom management, patient and family care, education and advocacy, and collaborative practice and professional issues. According to Berthiaume, when  she first came to Hospice of the North Country years ago, the nurse orienting her summarized the heart of end-of-life-care with words that continue to guide her practice today, ‘These patients deserve our best—they’re dying’. “For those patients and families who deserve our best, pursuing and achieving the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Certification was important to me to provide them with the highest quality care and services,” Berthiaume said.

The purpose of certification is to promote delivery of comprehensive palliative nursing care through the certification of qualified hospice and palliative professionals. “Joan has extensive knowledge and experience in nursing and hospice care,” said Kent W. Brooks, CHPCA, Hospice of the North Country CEO. “Joan’s achievement is a reflection of our commitment to continuously elevate the level of care we provide our patients and their families.” 

As an Agency Advancement Leader, Berthiaume is responsible for the organization’s compliance program, staff and community education, and collaborating provider relations. In this role, she develops and monitors quality assessment and performance improvement programs. Berthiaume works closely with area hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes to ensure that patients are appropriately referred for hospice care.

After graduating from St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City, Berthiaume’s career has included nursing experience in hospitals as well as community and university teaching. She has worked for Hospice of the North Country since 1998.