If you want to be a hospice social worker, you will need a college degree, post-graduate degree, and internship experience as a social worker. Hospice social workers are able to get jobs with four-year bachelor’s degrees. But, most students decide to spend an additional 2 years in school to earn master’s degrees. Once you have completed the M.S.W. degree and have passed the social work licensure exam, you are eligible to begin working as a social worker in hospice settings.

Those who would like to advance to key job positions in hospice or palliative care social work can seek certification on a national level. No doubt by obtaining certification as a palliative care or hospice social worker, individuals can enhance their job prospects. They can get closer towards achieving career goals in the field of social work.

A primary certifying body for hospice social workers is the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). This organization provides certification as a basic certified hospice and palliative social worker and an advanced certified hospice and palliative social worker.

NHPCO and NASW have the basic certification for social workers with a bachelor’s degree and the advanced certification for those with a master’s degree in social work. Both sets of applicants must be members of both NAWS and the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals (NCHPP).

Additional requirements for the basic certification are :

1. 2 years of fulltime work in a palliative or hospice social work (four years for non-licensed social workers).

2. Graduate of a bachelor’s degree program in social work;

3. State cetificate for social workers with a bachelor’s degree;

Those with the 20 hours of CE credits must earn them within 2 years of the application. Applicants with the 40-hour requirement must complete them within the previous 5 years. The work experience must be within the 5 years before the application.

Additional requirements for advanced hospice social work certification:

– State license or certification as a social worker;
– At least 3000 hours of supervised social work experience in hospice or palliative care;
– At least 2 years of paid hospice social work or palliative social work (within the last five years);
– At least twenty hours of continuing education directly related to hospice or palliative social work.

You should also keep in mind that you will need some references from supervisors as part of the application packet.

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