Palliative Care Nurses Australia is a member organisation that gives Australian nurses a voice in the national palliative care conversation. Launched in 2005 with seed funding from Palliative Care Australia, PCNA came about in response to a group of nurses who identified the need for national palliative care nursing body.

What we do

At PCNA, we provide advocacy, representation and professional development opportunities for all our members. We’re committed to championing the delivery of high quality, evidence-based palliative care; building capacity within the palliative care nursing workforce; and supporting our members to work to the outer limits of their scope of practice.

As the only professional nursing organisation that speaks to palliative care nursing in all its guises, we believe strongly that all nurses have a critical role to play in improving palliative care outcomes for all Australians.

Who are we

Nurses from all specialties play a key role in the delivery of palliative care, even if palliative care isn’t a formal part of their title or role description. As such, we’re committed to offering all nurses, regardless of speciality, a seat at the PCNA table.

Our members come from all nursing backgrounds – some are specialist palliative care nurses, while others work in other clinical specialties that bring them into contact with patients experiencing a range of progressive life-limiting conditions. What unites all our members is their passion for excellence in end-of-life care and their desire to play a role in improving national and international palliative care policy and services.

Nurses deliver palliative care in a wide range of settings, from homes and residential aged care facilities to hospitals and hospices. One of the defining features of palliative care is that it’s uniquely interdisciplinary – nurses work alongside a range of other health professionals, such as medical specialists, social workers, counsellors, physiotherapists, and pastoral or spiritual caregivers.

Supporting families

As well as supporting patients, nurses engaged in palliative care also work closely with patients’ family members. This work can include helping families to take on a caring role; helping them make decisions with, or on behalf of, the patient; and providing comfort in the lead up to, and after, the patient’s death. Supporting families can make a lasting difference to their memories of the end-of-life experience.

Read more about PCNA memberships.


Our vision is to promote excellence in palliative care nursing for our community, through leadership, representation and professional support.


At PCNA, we aim to:

  • foster the sustainability of the nursing workforce in palliative care
  • promote the professional development of nurses providing end of life care
  • provide opportunities for collaboration among members
  • facilitate knowledge, research, education and policy in palliative care
  • promote palliative care nursing in a changing environment
  • encourage participation in local, national and international palliative care nursing activities.