Building Palliative Care Expertise



Building Palliative Care Expertise

Palliative Care Photo

Building Palliative Care Expertise through Interdisciplinary Models of Care and Best Practices

Thank you for your interest in the Palliative Care CE course at St. Catherine University. There are some updates to this class below.

  1. We have listened to the market
  2. We will be modifying the Palliative Care CE course into sections that will be more specialized and affordable for participants. 
  3. Unfortunately, this means we must postpone the current Spring, 2015 start date of the course. 
  4. At this time, we are tentatively looking at dates for this Summer, 2015.

If you wish to be notified of the new class schedule and structure when it becomes available, please send an email to or call 651-690-6819.

With a focus on clinical reasoning and analysis, participants will engage in simulated patient situations, case studies, small and large group discussions, role-play, media observation and feedback; participants will learn about advanced assessment, management of pain and other symptoms, and other physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of caring for a person with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition.   Related topics will include communication approaches, ethical, legal, and financial considerations relevant to palliative care, and the use of research and practice guidelines to provide quality care.  

This 40 hour continuing education program is designed to meet a current unmet need in the palliative care community in the Twin Cities and regional area.  This program offers an intensive, “beyond-the-basics” educational opportunity tailored to the needs of experienced providers who aim to develop competencies beyond introductory concepts.  Utilizing both online and face-to-face learning formats, this program will offer a variety of active and experiential learning opportunities.

Register for this program by clicking here!

  • Upon completion of the program, you will receive a Professional Development Certificate from St. Catherine University*.  Completion requires that you attend the Friday sessions, two Saturday sessions and participate in the online component.  

*We are currently applying for continuing education credit for nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, physicians, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals through the University of Minnesota.

Overview and Schedule

Friday, March  13,  2015

 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday,  March  14,  2015 

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday,  April  10,  2015 

1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m

Saturday,  April  11,  2015 

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday,  May  15,  2015   

1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday,  May  16,  2015   

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Snow Dates will be May 8 & 9 if needed.
  • A dinner buffet will be served on the full days of Friday, March 13, 2015 and April 10, 2015. Continental breakfast and buffet lunch are provided at the Friday and Saturday sessions.
  • D2L (Desire to Learn) is the program management system this class will be utilizing. There will be an optional D2L training session (TBD).

CE Instructors

Laura Lathrop, DNP, MPH, APRN, CNP is a certified advanced hospice and palliative nurse and founder of Palliative Innovations, LLC a company founded to “build palliative care capacity in our communities”. For the past 10 years, Dr. Lathrop has been a member of an acute care palliative medicine consult service while working extensively with families and in relieving distressing symptoms of advanced illness. Prior to that, she provided primary care in long term care. She earned a DNP while completing a nurse led quality improvement project that integrated palliative care principles into the ICU. She also completed a pilot project that was successful in reducing hospital readmissions following palliative care consults. Her particular interests are difficult conversations and working with the family as the unit of care.

Paul Galchutt MDiv, BCC is in his eighth year as a staff chaplain as well as the inpatient palliative consult service chaplain at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. His health care chaplaincy work began with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in the Milwaukee, WI area where he also served as the bereavement and critical incident stress management coordinator. Prior to chaplaincy, he served for seven years as a pastor of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in the Chicago area. His area of interest is in the role of story/narrative for not only understanding palliative care, but ourselves and the person for whom we provide care.

Program Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the participant will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate practice capacities of the NHPCO Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs and/or the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care in settings across the care continuum.
    • Identify appropriate models of healing relationships and communication with the patient, family, and providers.
    • Discuss the unit of care as the family.
    • Identify and prioritize data to inform the prognostication process and to promote understanding of the disease trajectory
    • Use data to develop the goals of care, manage patient pain and other symptoms, and support family in understanding the future disease trajectory and disease exacerbations.
  2. Validate skills necessary to provide competent assessment and management of distressing symptoms associated with advanced disease.
  3. Explore in stories a deeper understanding of Biopsychosocial-Spiritual needs of patients and families, including grief, loss, and bereavement.
  4. Apply an interprofessional model to care more effectively for families and patients with chronic disease and life-limiting illness.
  5. Demonstrate the importance of professional boundaries to provider self-care practices.
  6. Apply current evidence-based practice guidelines and trends in the support of patients with life-limiting illness, their families, and professional caregivers.
    • Practice eliciting and documenting patient/family values and goals through the advance care planning process including the identification of a proxy decision maker and completion of Providers Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST).
    • Discuss the legal and ethical implications of the Affordable Care Act for palliative and hospice care.
    • Describe relevant ethical factors—including human needs for communal support, self-determination, dignity, and respect for the consciences of all involved.
    • Address family/caregiver burden with stress reduction interventions, support, advocacy, information and access to resources.

Learning Resources

E-mail and D2L will be used for communication among instructors and class participants and for distribution of class materials. Please go to our D2L program site for program announcements and program learning resources, including program documents, websites related to program content, and other helpful information.

Teaching-Learning Activities

  • class seminars
  • small group work
  • online learning activities
  • individual and/or group presentations
  • experiential learning
  • written assignments
  • videotaping with self-critique
  • other collaborative learning activities

Computer Requirements

Please refer to the Computer Requirements page to determine if your computer meets the necessary technology requirements.

Some Things to Consider

The program is appropriate for all disciplines working in palliative care and will be open to registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers, spiritual health providers and other members of interprofessional palliative and hospice care teams working in nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and long-term care. Though the program is NOT an examination review program for hospice and palliative medicine or nursing certifications, it will help team members focus their efforts on clinical practice. 
We encourage palliative care teams to register together. The program is also appropriate for those who wish to expand their practice to palliative care.

All sessions meet on the St. Paul campus of St. Catherine University. Students in the class will use D2L (Desire to Learn) program management system for the online portion of the program. Please refer to the Computer Requirements page to determine if your computer meets the necessary technology requirements.

Housing may be available near campus at the Carondolet Center.  The contact at Carondolet Center for those interested in housing opportunities near campus is Lauren Clapp, Event Coordinator, at Carondolet Center.  She can be reached at or 651-696-2741 for information about housing.

Program Options and Investment Cost

  • Individual Rate -- The cost of the program is $2,000 which includes all materials and catering
  • Group Rate – The group rate cost is $4,500 for groups of three registering from the same organization and $1500 for each additional registrant thereafter.
  • Thanks to the generosity of the Hagen Family Foundation we have been able to reduce the cost of the program overall for individuals. 

Our cancelation and refund policy will be in place for this program. 

Register for this program by clicking here!

For more information, contact The Center for Continuing Education at 651-690-6819 or