End of Life Care Micro-Certificate

End of Life Care Certificate

Program Benefits
  • Learn unique, discipline-specific skills needed to work with the dying and as an effective member of an interdisciplinary health care team
  • Earn a valuable credential backed by the University of Utah which will increase your chances of success in the competitive job market
  • Gain the skills needed to pursue positions in one of today's most rapidly growing job sectors
  • This certificate can be completed in as little as two semesters

Register today for the Certificate

Demand in the job market for aging care specialists

New opportunities are emerging daily in the development and delivery of aging products and services. Individuals who understand older adults' needs, strengths, and limitations, as well as their cognitive, physical, and social functioning, will be well-positioned for today's competitive marketplace.

This certificate is designed to guide participants to a better understanding of death's many dimensions and to become more knowledgeable about end of life issues, whether for personal or professional reasons. Professionals in a myriad of practices—nurses, social workers, doctors, chaplains—regardless of setting, will inevitably work with patients facing acute or long-term situations involving life-limiting illness, dying, death, grief, and bereavement.

This certificate is offered in collaboration with the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in the College of Nursing. These collaborative noncredit certificates utilize existing for-credit classes and as such, have unique application requirements which are described in the information below.

Demand for healthcare workers will remain particularly strong due to the mounting healthcare needs of the burgeoning elderly population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "the health care and social assistance industry is expected to be the most rapidly growing sector in terms of employment" through 2020. It is projected that employment will increase by 34.5 percent in healthcare support occupations and 25.9 percent in healthcare practitioner and technical occupations through 2020. There is a growing demand for workers in long-term care, in particular, as more of the elderly require nursing home care, residential care, adult day care, and home care.

Who should take this certificate?

This certificate is designed for individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and goals. Experience in healthcare or caring for the aging is not required for admission into this micro-certificate program. Professionals from a variety of careers will find this helpful to provide more value to their current job or seek opportunities to advance. Following are some of the more typical professional areas that would seek and benefit from this program:

Registered nurses
Nurse practitioners
Licensed vocational or practical nurses
Nursing assistants
Social workers
Occupational therapists
Recreation therapists
Physical therapists
Respiratory therapists
Personal care assistants
Physical fitness professionals
Adult children of aging parents

The noncredit End of Life Care Micro-Certificate utilizes two existing courses currently offered for-credit in the College of Nursing.

Required courses:

  • PEPEC 656: Interdisciplinary Approach to End-of-Life / Palliative Care
  • PEPEC 532: Death Dying and Bereavement

Class format: PEPEC 532 is an online class and PEPEC 656 is held on-campus providing networking opportunities with faculty and fellow students.

Class duration: classes are held over a traditional 12 or 15 week semester.

Enrollment options: PEPEC 656 is offered each spring semester/ PEPEC 532 is offered each summer semester.

Course sequencing: there are no restrictions on course sequencing. Students may take the courses in any order.

Average Time to Complete: the certificate can be completed in as little as 2 semesters. Students must complete the program within 2 years. There is no minimum or maximum number of credits a student must or can take per semester.

Application Requirements:an AA or bachelor’s degree is required to pursue this micro-certificate.

Prerequisites: there are no prerequisites for this micro-certificate.

CEU Credit - Please contact the program director to inquire about CEU credit for this certificate

The End of Life Care Micro-Certificate is a five credit program of study with two required courses offered over a time frame comparable to a traditional semester schedule, with fixed start and end dates. These noncredit courses meet with for-credit sections.

PEPEC 656: Interdisciplinary Approach to End-of-Life/Palliative Care - 12 week course

Health care providers, regardless of practice settings, will inevitably work with patients facing acute or long-term situations involving life-limiting illness, dying, death, grief, and bereavement. These patients and their families experience a variety of needs throughout their time of illness. These needs are addressed by the help of many professional disciplines specifically trained to diagnose and treat these needs. This course provides interdisciplinary discourses on the provision of holistic care for patients and their families experiencing life-limiting disease.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss how personal beliefs, biases, and histories impact upon the delivery of care to patients, families/caregivers
  • Define hospice and palliative care and describe how these constructs fit into the care continuum
  • Describe common pathophysiological and psycho-social mechanisms of pain at end-of-life and use appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for pain
  • Differentiate physical pain from suffering due primarily to psychosocial distress
  • List ten common symptoms seen in terminal illness and apply appropriate, evidence-based therapies for their management
  • Describe the major bioethical constructs as they apply to end-of-life care, advanced directives, and assisted death
  • Describe how spirituality and diversity impact on the provision of care of patients and families/caregivers
  • Demonstrate discipline-specific competencies related to the roles of advanced practice nursing, pharmacy, and social work in palliative/end-of-life care
  • Demonstrate skills essential for effective interdisciplinary care of patients and families/caregivers when working with other health professionals
  • Demonstrate clinical communication skills essential to health professionals working with terminally ill patients and their families/caregivers

PEPEC 532: Death, Dying and Bereavement - 15 week course

This course will provide knowledge and strategies which are helpful in working with dying and bereaved individuals and their families. It will present an overview of clinical, philosophical, spiritual and social issues concerning dying and bereavement. Personal growth, confronting one's own mortality and awareness of "unfinished business" will be emphasized.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop an awareness of personal feelings, beliefs, attitudes, unfinished business, misconceptions about death and grief, and confront one's own mortality
  • Identify practical strategies and resources for supporting terminally ill or dying individuals and their loved ones
  • Acquire an understanding of normal and complicated grief, and identify practical strategies for working with a grieving person
  • Learn about death and grief customs of other cultures and religions
  • Critique the funeral mortuary experience in American society and its value for survivors
  • Complete (own) advanced directives and be able to educate family, friends, or patients about the value of having these documents in place
  • Identify practical strategies for working with individuals with life-threatening illness and their loved ones

Program Cost - Noncredit tuition for the full micro-certificate is $1750.

Tuition for individual classes is as follows:

PEPEC 656: Interdisciplinary Approach to End-of-Life/Palliative Care $700
PEPEC 532: Death Dying and Bereavement $ 1050

Tuition is due at the beginning of each course offering a pay-as-you-go option. Textbooks are additional costs. Tuition listed above is for the 2016-2017 academic year and subject to change without advance notice.

  • Online courses may have an additional $60 per class fee.
  • Please contact the program director to inquire about CEU credit for this certificate.
  • Financial aid is not available for this noncredit certificate. Students are encouraged to inquire with their employers to determine if tuition assistance is available.
  • For this certificate, installment plans and deferral payment plans are available for noncredit students. Visit Tuition Payment Options for more information.

Why choose the University of Utah?

We understand that you have a choice when it comes to taking professional development courses and we work hard to earn your trust with each and every class!

By selecting the University of Utah, you’ll enjoy the following benefits whether you’re coming to us as someone new to the job market, a career changer, a seasoned professional or a lifelong learner.

Resume Power - benefit from the University of Utah reputation for credibility and quality. Choosing the University of Utah for your certificate program makes a clear statement about your commitment to excellence.

Instructor Excellence - learn from the same high-quality faculty that teach in our degree programs.

The Power of the U Network – students have access to a valuable University of Utah peer and faculty network.

Programs that Fit Your Schedule – most of our certificates offer convenient online or evening classes that offer a schedule that works around you. Go to class whenever and wherever you want.

How to register for an Academic Noncredit Certificate

  • These unique certificates are offered in collaboration with University of Utah colleges and academic departments and as such, have unique registration requirements.
  • Register for the certificate through the Professional Education website. There is no cost to register.
  • By registering, you are declaring your intention to complete the full certificate curriculum.
  • Once you’ve registered for your certificate, our staff will send you the link to a short supplementary registration information form for that is required by the departments. Please complete this form within 5 days of receipt.
  • Each certificate has unique application requirements for admission. Please see the "program details" information on each individual certificate webpage to find out the requirements for your certificate.
  • Academic noncredit certificates are not open to students admitted to the University of Utah as a matriculated (degree-seeking) or non-matriculated student.

The following information is required on the supplementary registration information form:

  • 1. Personal information such as your name, address, phone and email address
  • 2. Academic history: degree, degree institution, year
  • 3. University of Utah student history (if any)
  • 4. Short response: why are you interested in taking this certificate?
  • 5. Short response: Please use this space to tell us anything else about yourself that you would like to include in your application.

Please have all information available when you are ready to start the application. Once the application is started, there is no option to save and return. Uploading of documents for short-answer response is not available. Please be prepared to enter directly or paste from another document.

Once it’s verified that you meet all certificate requirements, you will be sent a new student information packet and instructions on how to register for your courses.

Deadlines and other important application information

  • Registrations are accepted on an ongoing basis. For planning purposes, please register at least one month prior to the start of the semester. Registrations received within 5 working days of the start of the semester may not be able to start the program on time.
  • All classes for Academic Noncredit Certificates start at the beginning of each semester unless otherwise noted.
  • Find information about the University of Utah academic calendar here.
  • Applicants can expect to receive information about their registration within 3 days of submission.
  • Applicants are asked not to register for courses prior to being admitted into the certificate program. Details about how to register for classes will be included in all new student information.
  • Students wishing to take courses individually and not as part of a certificate, do not need to submit a certificate registration and may register for classes through Academic Noncredit programs. Note that these classes cannot be applied towards a certificate at a later date. Some courses may not be offered for non-certificate seeking students.

Certificate Completion Requirements

  • Students will be required to fulfill the same expectations and requirements as matriculated students including exams, projects and participation.
  • Certificate students will receive an “S-Satisfactory” or “U-Unsatisfactory” assessment for each class. “S-Satisfactory” will indicate that the student has met the standards for at least a B-.
  • Students must receive an “S-Satisfactory" grade in all classes for successful completion.
  • A certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of all required courses.

Apply for Your Certificate of Completion

After completing all requirements, students may request to receive their official certificate by completing the Request for Certificate form.

How is my accomplishment recognized?

For students earning an “S-Satisfactory" grade, the completed certificate will appear on University of Utah official transcripts.

Students will also be awarded a University of Utah digital credential (badge) that can be shared on social media sites and used with other professional resources. Digital badges are embedded with metadata that validate the skills demonstrated and other requirements for earning the badge.

Digital Credentials / Badges

examples of badge graphicsexamples of badge graphicsFollow the link on the badge to the left to find out what metadata is behind the Yoga Teacher Training Certificate or Caring for the Aging Population Micro-certificate badge. This is an example of the type of information you’ll find behind all our academic noncredit certificates.

Find out more about Digital Badges at the University of Utah »

Are there exams? Am I graded?

Certificate classes are graded with a "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" option. For successful certificate completion, students must achieve a "satisfactory" grade in all classes.

Can I apply these classes to a degree at the University of Utah?

This certificate is noncredit and cannot be applied to any for-credit degree.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of credits a student may take in a semester?

There are no minimums or maximum number of credits restrictions for students. The certificate must be completed within one year.

Will I have flexibility in what classes I take and when?

Once admitted, students are responsible for enrolling in individual classes on their own through Continuing Education Academic Noncredit. Students may consult with the certificate program manager if they have questions about specific courses. (See contact us section)

Are these classes eligible for federal financial aid?

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "non-degree seeking," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid loan programs.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of credits a student may take in a semester?

There are no minimums or maximum number of credits restrictions for students. Students skipping one or more semesters are encouraged to communicate with their program advisor regarding completion plans.

What is the average weekly time commitment for each of the classes?

This noncredit class is "yoked" or partnered with a for-credit section. The for-credit section is three credits. For a typical three credit hour class, each student is expect to spend approximately six hours per week outside the classroom.

What are the online courses like?

The online courses in this certificate are flexible in that you don't have to attend online classes at a specific time. Our students use a combination of self-study and peer-to-peer interaction over an online learning network to facilitate instruction. You'll complete weekly assignments, readings, discussions, and occasional group work, as well as exams and other activities designed to enhance learning outcomes, all at times that are most convenient to you.

Using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more, you'll stay connected with fellow students and faculty, building personal networks along the way.

Your courses are developed by faculty and instructional designers who understand the specific needs of learners in an online environment. Special consideration is given to advance planning and setting expectations in the online classroom, so each curriculum is outlined in a syllabus distributed at the start of the course. This document provides an overview of the course assignments, grading strategy, student and faculty expectations, and course materials, as well as an understanding of the course goals and learning outcomes.

Does it matter which course I take first or in what order I take the classes?

It might matter. See the individual program details for your specific certificate.

Professional Education / University of Utah

Phone: 801-585-1780
E-mail: proed@continue.utah.edu
Online contact form

Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program

Jackie Eaton, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program
University of Utah College of Nursing
Office phone: 801-587-9638

Arminka Zeljkovic
Graduate Student Advisor
University of Utah College of Nursing
Phone: 801-581-8198

For more information about our Veterans/Military Programs, please contact us at proed@continue.utah.edu or 801-585-1780.