POLST Conversations and Implementation

Join a free Zoom session to discuss implementing Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) into your organization. Sessions will be held once monthly through September. Attendance will be limited to 10 people per session, so get registered right away!

Register Today

Who Should Attend?

This training is intended for advanced practice nurses, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and emergency medical services personnel. It is approved for one contact hour by the North Dakota Board of Nursing.

Why Should I Attend?

  • Acquire new skills, competencies, and best practices regarding POLST.
  • Learn about best practices and scripting for patients with serious and life threatening illnesses.
  • Enhance your awareness and education about POLST in North Dakota.


  • Describe how POLST conversations impact POLST form completion.
  • Identify what the role of the nurse is in completing the North Dakota POLST form.
  • Explain the process of implementing POLST where you work.

Dates & Times

Times are listed in Central time.

  • Wednesday, March 18
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 23
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 20
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, June 24
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 22
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, August 13
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 9
    10:00 – 11:00 am or 2:00 – 3:00 pm


  • Nancy Joyner, MS, CNS-BC, APRN, ACHPN®
    Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Sara Schwarz, MA
    Chaplain & ACP Lead at Sanford Health Bismarck

For More Information

Learn more about POLST or contact Nancy Joyner at nancy.joyner@honoringchoicesnd.org.

Sponsored By

Pearls of POST

The Pearls of Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST): Translating Patient Decisions into Treatment Orders
Since the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm began in 1991, POLST has become utilized throughout the United States. POLST includes the national POLST Paradigm as well as state and regional programs and their specific POLST orders. Yet many nurses may not have received the education needed for POLST implementation. This article seeks to honor individual preferences through advance care planning (ACP) by providing an understanding of POLST, which documents individual treatment wishes as medical orders. In the article the authors discuss advance care planning, advance directives, changes in patient status, and the inception and description of POLST. They distinguish POLST from DNR orders, compare POLST to advance directives, and describe the roles of registered and advanced practice nurses. Additionally, they consider studies that have endorsed the POLST paradigm, and share POLST paradigm pearls as well as possible paradigm pitfalls.

North Dakota Palliative Care Task Force

The North Dakota Palliative Care Task Force is committed to improving the quality of life of those facing serious health conditions by promoting patient-centered palliative care and improving access to services. Although it is one of the fastest growing trends in healthcare, palliative care is often misunderstood. The task is set up to develop educational opportunities for providers, patients, and community members to help them clearly understand palliative care and the benefits it offers. The task force aims to increase awareness and utilization throughout the state of North Dakota to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

Honoring Choices North Dakota Promotes National Healthcare Decisions Day

Honoring Choices North Dakota® (HCND) is pleased to present an initiative to increase awareness about the importance of advance care planning. The goal of Before I Die ND is to encourage conversation and help participants reflect on how we manage death and dying by providing space and opportunities to discuss end-of-life issues. The initiative includes public presentations, poster exhibits, digital dialogue and more! The initiative is linked to National Health Care Decisions Day, which encourages adults to make end-of-life wishes known through advance care planning.

We are pleased to share some personal stories of individuals and their thoughts on Advance Care Planning:

Advance Care Planning Facilitator Certification: Dickinson and Grand Forks

Did you know:

  • 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important but only 27% have.
  • 82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing but only 23% have actually done it.

Maybe it is the time to say, “The time to change this is now.” Having trained First Steps® Advance Care Planning Facilitators at your facility or within your organization demonstrates your commitment to providing the care or service that reflects the values, goals, and preferences of the individuals and families you serve.

Respecting Choices® First Steps® ACP Facilitator Certification is designed for social workers, nurses, clergy, physicians and others who want to assist adults age 18 and older identify the importance of advance care planning (ACP), reflect on their personal values and beliefs, and communicate their care preferences for when they are unable to do so for themselves. This training is designed to help participants develop the skills needed to facilitate advance care planning discussions with any adult. It is not designed for individuals to become advance care planning facilitator instructors. There are 6.75 continuing education units/hours for nurses and social workers available for the face-to-face training. Contact hours are also available for the online modules and continuing education units. The attached brochure provides more information about registration and the pre-course work requirement.

Dates and Location

  • Dickinson: October 5th – Registrations due September 22nd.
  • Grand Forks: November 2nd – Registration due October 19th.

A minimum of 12 registrants is required to hold the training events.

To Register

Either submit your registration form or me regarding your intent to register as early as possible.

Sally May, Program Coordinator
Honoring Choices North Dakota
41 36th Avenue NW
Minot, ND 58703
Phone: 701.989.6229
Email: sally.may@honoringchoicesnd.org

Do not hesitate to share this invitation with others in your organization and community as appropriate. Have a question? Give me a call.

Improving Quality of Life: It Starts with Competent Caring Conversations

Mark your calendar!

September 18, 2017
9:00am – 2:45pm
Dakota Medical Foundation

4141 28th Ave S, Fargo, ND

The goal of this program is to provide examples of best practices in designing training for nurses, providers, and other clinical healthcare professionals to provide them with the knowledge, skills and practice to confidently approach challenging conversations about preferences for care with patients, families, and other professionals in any healthcare setting. Presenters will share strategies for increasing competency of current and future health professional to ensure these conversations about informed preferences are ongoing and the norm across the state of North Dakota.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe alternative approaches for developing the competency of healthcare professionals in advance care planning.
  • Describe new ways healthcare professionals can involve patients in advance care planning.
  • Identify ways to improve the advance care planning process across all health care settings to promote ongoing dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals.

Please register each attendee from your organization individually. A $15 fee per attendee will be collected at the door to cover the cost of food. Only cash or a check will be accepted. Make checks payable to: Sanford Health Fargo; Striving for Success 1100 10137 in the memo line.

For more information, contact:
Sally May, Program Coordinator
701.989.6229 or sally.may@honoringchoicesnd.org