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Register your interest for future courses.

This course has been developed by staff of Queensland Health's Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education in conjunction with QUT.

It aims to provide registered nurses with a beginning level of knowledge and skills of palliative care to meet the health needs of people requiring palliative or end of life care in a variety of healthcare contexts.

Who should participate

The course is designed for registered nurses interested in acquiring specialist knowledge in palliative care nursing in acute, aged and community care. It is recommended that registered nurses enrolling in this course have at least three months' experience working with patients requiring palliative or end-of-life care. Prospective participants unsure whether their experience is appropriate for the course are welcome to contact the course coordinator, John Haberecht at



  • Online


Registrations are now closed for 2017.
Further courses are planned for 2018. Dates to be confirmed.


This course is conducted externally. A course outline, study guide and readings will be provided online. There is no requirement to attend the university throughout the duration of the course. You will need reliable internet access to complete the course.


Registration fees to be confirmed.

2017 fee: $1,350 (GST included)

Fees include access to:

  • online materials
  • Blackboard (QUT's interactive learning tool).

You'll need to purchase the set textbook for the course: O'Connor, M., Lee, S., Aranda, S. (Eds.). Palliative care nursing: A guide to practice (3rd ed.) . North Melbourne: Ausmed Publications. You can buy the textbook through Ausmed. It costs $79.95 (GST included), plus postage and handling.

Credit eligibility

If you successfully complete this course and you're accepted into the Graduate Certificate in Nursing, you can apply for credit (advanced standing) for one elective unit worth 12 credit points.


For more information about course content or assessment, contact the course coordinator, John Haberecht at

For all registration or payment queries, contact Continuing Professional Education.

Register your interest for future courses.


The aim of this unit is to provide registered nurses with an introductory level of knowledge and skills in palliative care to meet the health needs of people who require palliative or end-of-life care in a variety of healthcare contexts.

Knowledge and skills developed during this unit will enable you to:

  • think critically when planning and providing palliative or end-of-life care
  • provide high quality care in your nursing practice, particularly in palliative or end-of-life care in acute, aged and community care settings.

Course outline

The course is comprised of four modules:

Module 1: Leadership and collaborative practice in palliative care nursing (weeks 1-2)

  • Legal and ethical considerations for care of the person with life limiting illness
  • Role and function of the palliative care nurse
  • Meeting the patient - diagnosis and prognosis
  • Patient-centred care
  • The interdisciplinary team
  • Teaching and learning.

Module 2: Therapeutic relationships in palliative care nursing (weeks 3-6)

  • Communicating with the patient and family
  • Family structures
  • Cultural difference
  • Spiritual care
  • Quality of life
  • Loss, grief and bereavement
  • Providing psychosocial support.

Module 3: Principles of symptom assessment and management in palliative care nursing (weeks 7-11)

  • Physical comfort and pain management
  • Psychological comfort
  • Principles of medication management for people with life limiting illness.
  • Common symptoms - respiratory, gastrointestinal, fatigue
  • Family and care giver support
  • Preparing for end of life
  • Functional changes.

Module 4: End of life care in palliative care nursing (weeks 12-13)

  • Care of the person during the last days of life
  • Loss of appetite, terminal confusion, restlessness
  • Care of the provider of end of life care, before and after death of the patient.


After successful completion of this unit, participants will be able to:

  • Apply palliative care principles to the assessment, planning and management of personalised care of the person and family requiring palliative care.
  • Critically analyse, evaluate and apply evidence to ethical decision-making in caring for clients with life limiting conditions and their family .
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of palliative care interventions and their impact on outcomes for the person and family .
  • Explore collaboration and communication strategies in establishing and maintaining therapeutic relationships for the person with life - limiting conditions and family.


John Haberecht has 25 years experience in palliative care nursing in various practice settings.

John has previously taught palliative care at Australian Catholic University where he co-authored the Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Palliative Care). John has a Master of Education, is Director of Learning and Development at Queensland Health's Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education, and is the President of Palliative Care Queensland.

Register your interest

Register your interest for future courses.

Register your interest

Email Continuing Professional Education to register your interest for future courses, and we'll contact you when dates are confirmed and registrations open.


When you register for the course, you will create an account with us. You'll need to pay your fees online by credit or debit card.

You will be able to access your account, including your invoice, using your email address and password.

FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP are not available for Continuing Professional Education courses.


To cancel your registration, you must apply in writing to the course manager at Continuing Professional Education.

If you cancel before the course start date, you'll receive a full refund minus a $100 administration fee. Access to online course material will no longer be available when you cancel your registration.

No registration refunds will be made once the course has started (except in exceptional circumstances with supporting evidence).

We reserve the right to cancel the course under certain circumstances, such as low registration numbers. If this happens, we will advise you as soon as possible and give you a full refund. We are not responsible for any expenses you may have incurred if the course is cancelled.