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This certificate program prepares students to comprehensively assess, diagnose, and treat common acute illnesses and manage chronic stable health conditions of adolescents, adults, and older adults. Our program places an emphasis on health promotion, evidence-based practice in support of quality outcomes, guidance and counseling of individuals and families, and caring for the vulnerable and underserved.  Students are required to complete 500 direct care hours. Currently certified NPs who are expanding into this area of practice may request a waiver of selected courses and clinical experiences. This is individually determined upon admission by gap analysis. Upon completion of this program, students will be eligible to take the Adult Gerontology certification exam offered through ANCC or AANP and obtain additional specialty certification through the State of Michigan.

Adult Advanced Practice Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Specialist

Prepare APRNs to provide high-quality hospice and palliative care services to patients, families, and caregivers during serious, progressive illnesses. Palliative care Advanced Practice Registered Nurses provide holistic care that focuses on disease management, symptom relief, emotional distress, and care transitions. Students will have the opportunity to provide direct care in a variety of settings and obtain enough clinical hours to become certified as Advanced Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (ACHPCN).

Degrees Offered


Student Success, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP Post-MSN Cert

Janice Marchildon Picture - red-headed nurse practioner

Janice Marchildon, RN, MSN, ANP-BC

Janice pursued a post-masters certificate as an advanced practice nurse in primary care while working as an Assistant Professor and RN caring for patients with chronic kidney disease. Janice teaches at the graduate level and works collaboratively in a specialized outpatient nephrology practice setting, serving the Romulus, Chelsea, Monroe, Brighton, Canton, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti areas. 

Student Success, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP w/AP Hospice & Palliative Care MSN

Marianne Vesterfelt headshot

Marianne Vesterfelt, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, ACHPCN

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.

Nursing instruction in a hands-on environment

Nursing Faculty

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