Palliative and End of Life Care

Palliative and End of Life Care

The Palliative and End of Life Care specialization will provide foundational knowledge and skills for nurses and possibly other health care professionals, to help individuals and families live well until death, across the lifespan, in all practice settings.

Nurses are integral to person-centered care, facilitating conversations with individuals and their families about their full range of needs-physical, psychosocial and spiritual at all stages of a chronic progressive illness. This certificate will foster awareness and understanding of the benefits of early integration of palliative care into plans of care.

The online approach focuses on learning within the context of practice and is flexible to meet student learning needs.

Graduate Certificate Connect Dates

UCalgary Nursing offers all Graduate Certificate courses online.

All courses in this program require students to attend instructor-led Connect Days, which are delivered online at scheduled dates and times (as listed in course outline). Students who do not attend Connect Days will normally be withdrawn from the associated course, as per the Graduate Calendar.

Student Connect days are scheduled in a virtual format.



Emilie Muth BN'14 has been working in palliative home care since 2015

Palliative and end-of-life care graduate certificate geared towards health-care professionals in all practice settings

One of the newer offerings in the UCalgary Nursing graduate certificate program is aimed at those who support individuals and families to live well until death, across the lifespan

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Required Courses

NURS 670 - Fall 2024

Philosophy and Principles of Palliative Care 

Provides foundational knowledge of palliative and end of life care philosophy and practice principles as an integrative approach to care, from diagnosis of a life-threatening illness to end of life crossing primary, tertiary and hospice settings. Focus will be on application and the implications for advanced nursing practice to help advocate change around improved integration of palliative care. 

NURS 672 - Winter 2025

Optimizing Comfort and Quality of Living in Palliative and End of Life Care

Advanced specialized palliative care knowledge of common symptoms with the goal of developing expertise in optimizing comfort and quality of life for individuals and families. Focus will be on knowledge in assessing and treating complex symptoms relevant to patient/family goals of care.

*Prerequisite(s): NURS 670

NURS 674 - Spring 2025

Exploration of Concepts, Populations and Challenges in Palliative Care 

Exploration of special populations and complex challenges in palliative care that are significant to the practice and delivery of palliative care. Topics will include Complex Practice/Ethical Issues at the end of life (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, suffering, withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatments, palliative sedation, medical assistance in dying); and Challenges and Care for Special Populations in Palliative Care (the bereaved, pediatrics, older adults, poverty/homelessness, rural populations, indigenous populations). 

*Prerequisite(s): NURS 672

NURS 676 - Summer 2025

Specialized Practice Demonstration: Design and Leading Change in Palliative Care 

Students will creatively design and offer a presentation of their palliative care topic to their peers. From the synthesis of literature and conversations with stakeholders’ students will apply principles of design thinking methods and leadership practices in a palliative care context. There will be an opportunity to explore the use of these frameworks in a real-world project. 

*Prerequisite(s): NURS 674