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Hospice nurses are usually certified in BLS (Basic Life Support, at the Provider Level). Patients who are "on hospice" are patients at the end of their life. The hospice nurse's greatest responsibility is to make the patient as comfortable as possible while the patient and family wait for the patient to die. Hospice nurses most frequently act as counselors to the patient and individual members of the family. A good knowledge of advanced care directives such as Living Wills and Durable Health Care Powers of Attorney is helpful to the hospice nurse. Tensions and emotions may be high and the hospice nurse should carry a great deal of self-possession in order to provide care for the patient and the family, as a unit. Hospice nurses may be called upon at any time, day or night, to provide care for the patient. Patients range in age from young children to elderly adults.

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