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Why Study Adult-Ger Prim Care NP w/AP HSP & Pall Care MSN at Madonna University?

  • Madonna University pioneered offerings of formal higher education in hospice and palliative care for nurses in advanced practice roles
  • Program provides preparation for the full scope of NP practice in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care and Adult Advanced Practice Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Your clinical courses will be taught by practicing NP faculty
  • Alumni are highly satisfied with their preparation for entering advanced practice nursing

You will be prepared to provide primary care services to the adult-gerontology population and to provide advanced practice hospice/palliative care. Advanced practice palliative care nursing serves patients, families, and caregivers during serious, progressive illnesses by providing holistic care that focuses on disease management, symptom relief, emotional distress, care transitions, and loss. Graduates are prepared to become certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Commission (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and to obtain Nurse Practitioner specialty certification by the State of Michigan. Additional specialty certification can be sought as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (ACHPCN).

  • Graduates of our program have obtained Nurse Practitioner positions in primary and palliative/hospice practices and have been pioneers in helping to establish palliative care services in health organizations
  • Graduates have continued their education by obtaining doctoral degrees
  • Graduates have become faculty
Marianne Vesterfelt

Marianne Vesterfelt, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, ACHPCN, '08 graduated in one of the nation’s first advanced practice nursing programs to prepare adult primary care practitioner NPs with specialization in palliative care. With extensive work in palliative care prior to pursuing her graduate degree, she was able to pave the way for nurse practitioners in the hospice setting by developing the NP role as an integral member of the medical staff team in hospice and palliative care. In 2013 she returned to her alma mater to serve as an adjunct faculty member in the adult-gerontology primary care NP with advanced hospice and palliative specialty program at Madonna.

Her early practice focused on the ALS population for whom she was able to develop and implement a ‘crisis breathing’ care pack and protocol to manage some of the end of life symptoms within the difficult population. She became an educator in the area of the special needs of that population. She developed a ventilator withdrawal protocol to ensure symptom management and focused on the complex symptom management issues at end of life.

In 2013, she broadened her scope as a NP to include sub-acute rehabilitation focusing on readmissions and unplanned discharges. She recognized with late admissions into palliative care services that there was a need to influence the patient’s course of health earlier in the illness trajectory.

Marianne is now the Director of Nursing and Clinical Care at Marywood Nursing Care Center. She is piloting a new model of administration that combines business details while remaining active in the clinical direction of patients. She looks forward to developing new approaches to improve the overall health and lives of the population she serves throughout the continuum of life.

“Madonna prepared me not only in knowledge, but in methods of gaining knowledge and organizing thoughts to promote changes in practice. The curriculum of Madonna’s graduate nurse practitioner program truly gives a depth of knowledge making the transition into the role of a nurse practitioner seamless. The primary care NP program with advanced hospice and palliative specialization allowed me to assist patients and families through the transition times educating them from both ends of the spectrum.”


The Baccalaureate degree in Nursing/Master of Science in Nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice and post- graduate APRN certificate programs at Madonna University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Congratulations to the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner programs on attaining 100% pass rates on the national NP certification exams for the 2016 calendar year