Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
Advanced practice palliative care nurses are experts in pain and symptom management, promoting comfort and the highest quality of life possible for their patients.
What Will You Do as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specializing in Palliative Care?
In this role, you will reduce the symptoms and suffering for patients ages 12 and above and their families as they live with life-limiting progressive illnesses. You will contribute to meeting patients' and families’ psychological, spiritual and social needs while responding sensitively and compassionately to culture and religious values. You will provide emotional support and counsel regarding end-of-life decisions and care of survivors.
As an AGPCNP specializing in palliative care, you will provide care both independently and as part of a professional health care team across very diverse settings. You will engage in the development and implementation of public policy that influences palliative care. Your graduate education and related expertise will prepare you to assume leadership roles such as expert clinician, researcher, educator, administrator, case manager, consultant and advocate for patients and families.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is the comprehensive and compassionate care of individuals and families who are living with or dying from incurable, progressive illnesses or conditions. Palliative care begins with the diagnosis of such a life-limiting condition and follows the patient and family through curative modalities, chronicity and end-of-life care. Palliative care APNs enter into the lives of patients when they are at their most vulnerable, providing pain and symptom management to promote the highest quality of life for patients and their families. The results are care-giving experiences that transcend everything traditional. The Vanderbilt palliative care focus prepares graduates to provide holistic patient and family care, alleviate pain, manage multiple symptoms, offer spiritual care, counsel about end-of-life decisions and plan for the care of survivors.
Kathryn (Kathi) B. Lindstrom, PhD, FNP-BC, ACHPN, HSMI
Dr. Kathi Lindstrom is Assistant Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University and the Palliative Care focus coordinator in the Adult Nurse Practitioner program.
Dr. Lindstrom has more than 15 years clinical experience in hospice and palliative care. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, and a Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing) with a Certificate in Gerontology from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Lindstrom is a board certified family nurse practitioner, advanced practice certified in hospice and palliative nursing and is certified as a holistic stress management instructor.
Her practice areas have included Long Term Care, Hospice home and residential care visits, Inpatient Hospital Palliative Care Service, Home Health services from infants to elders and Elementary School Nursing. Dr. Lindstrom’s doctoral work focused on family caregivers and her dissertation was testing an intervention for family caregivers of newly admitted hospice patients. She has completed multiple church mission trips to Honduras and Ensenada, Mexico. In addition, she serves on the End-of-Life committee on the Council on Aging, Nashville, TN. Dr. Lindstrom has spoken at multiple conferences and to groups nationally on family caregivers and end-of-life issues.
Practicing palliative care combines and builds upon the general functions performed by the Advance Practice Nurse and the foundation of the AGPCNP with these competencies:
- Utilizes advanced clinical judgment and practice to assess, plan, intervene and evaluate plans of care
- Orders tests/procedures congruent with plans of care with patients, families and health care members
- Collaboratively plans/negotiates expected outcomes based on goals of care
- Effectively communicates prognosis, plans of care and management options with patients, families, health care team
- Integrates ethical principles into plans of care
- Possesses a broad knowledge of palliative and hospice care including history, precepts, philosophy of care
- Contributes to evidence-based practice particularly in the area of pain and symptom management
- Collaborates with inter/multidisciplinary team members
- Possesses a knowledge base that reflects national policies, statutes, regulations and fiscal responsibilities
- Responds to illness sensitively and compassionately in terms of spiritual and cultural awareness
- Facilitates learning for patient, families, health care institutions and the general public in regard to the palliative care trajectory
- Is encouraged to pursue doctoral study in palliative and end-of-life care
Modified Class Schedule
The AGPCNP-Palliative Care specialty program is one of several specialties at Vanderbilt School of Nursing offered in a modified learning (block) format that allows students to attend graduate school without having to relocate or give up employment. Distance and distributed course delivery methods, courses offered in blocks of time on campus (including weekends), online conferencing, and clinical practicum placement in your home area where possible let you earn your MSN degree without being away from home for extended periods.
Credentials and Certification
Graduation from the MSN program prepares you for licensure and “approval to practice” as a Registered Nurse (RN) in every state. You also will be eligible to sit for examination for the applicable certification, and eligible for prescriptive authority in all 50 states, with restrictions as specified by each state. Visit Credentialing and Certification for specific information.