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Court system to offer training seminars for guardians Monday, October 10, 2022

We are happy to announce four upcoming virtual education seminars that may of interest to guardians and attorneys. Participants must register for each session separately for attendance tracking.


Central Time

Topic and Link



10:00 a.m. to 12:00

“POAs and Medical Directives” How to create these important legal documents, and what they do.

Register at:

Rachel Sinness


10:00 a.m. to 11:00

“Considering a Financial Caregiver” Resources for managing someone else’s money.

Register at:

Lisa Schifferle


2:00 p.m. to 4:00

“Your Life, Your Rights, Your Voice” Empowerment for long-term care residents, and the Ombudsman program.

Register at:

Shannon Nieuwsma


2:00 p.m. to 4:00

“Hospice and Palliative Care” Planning for end-of-life cares: POLST.

Register at:

Nancy Joyner


These seminars have been approved by SBAND for CLE credits.


Abstracts and Faculty Bios:


Rachel Sinness:


Rachel Sinness is the Legal Director for ND Protection & Advocacy in Bismarck, ND. She graduated in 2009 from the University of North Dakota School of Law. Work is balanced by spending time with her wife Lacey, children Henry (10) and Simon (8), dogs Sam and Dexter, and cats Pickle and Raisin.

In her spare time, Rachel watches reruns of the Golden Girls, teaches piano and violin lessons out of her home, plays violin with the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and participates in various races and short-distance triathlons.


A brief introduction to Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives, how and when to create them, and using them as less restrictive alternatives to Guardianship.


Lisa Schifferle:


Lisa Weintraub Schifferle is a Senior Policy Analyst in the CFPB’s Office for Older Americans. She leads the Managing Someone Else’s Money program and supports the Office’s work to combat elder financial exploitation.

Ms. Schifferle’s career in consumer protection spans more than 20 years. Before the CFPB, she worked as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where she led trainings on scam prevention; served as the FTC’s Identity Theft Coordinator; and litigated fraud and data security cases. Before that, Ms. Schifferle was at the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, where she represented low-income clients in consumer, bankruptcy, housing, public benefits and employment cases. Ms. Schifferle received her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. 


Considering a financial caregiver? Know your options.

As we age, it’s important to make financial plans for ourselves and our loved ones, including what will happen if we become unable to manage our own finances. This webinar will highlight resources for financial caregiving, including the Managing Someone Else’s Money guides. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will share tips and tools about financial caregivers, as well as factors to consider when choosing a caregiver. The webinar will discuss guardianship, power of attorney, trusted contacts and more.


Shannon Nieuwsma:


Shannon Nieuwsma is a designated Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the ND Department of Health & Human Services, a position she has held since August of 2012. As a Long-Term Care Ombudsman she is a resident directed advocate for the health, welfare, safety and rights of individuals living in Assisted Living, Basic Care, Hospital Swing Beds and Skilled Nursing Facilities in ND. Shannon currently visits 44 long-term care facilities in 6 counties, with a population of approximately 2,179 long-term care residents.

Shannon’s career with the ND Department of Health & Human Services has been within the Aging Services Division and spans over 25 years. Prior to her serving as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Shannon provided Options Counseling, Vulnerable Adult Protective Services, Title III meal and health maintenance site assessments and was also the Local Contact Agency for long term care facilities for 6 counties. Shannon graduated from Minot State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree.


After attending “Your Life, Your Rights, Your Voice” participants will have a clear understanding of the types of long-term care facilities operating in the state of ND and the nuances that exist among those levels of care. Code of Federal Regulations 483 (CFR483) and the ND Century Code 50-102 addressing residents’ rights will be reviewed to familiarize attendees with the rights guaranteed to residents of long-term care. Participants will learn the primary functions of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and how to access the services of the LTCOP. Participants will also learn the most common complaints dealt with by the LTCOP in the last FFY, and the strategies and interventions used to address and resolve them. Participants will also learn how the LTCOP and surrogate decision-makers, such as POA agents/attorneys-in-fact and guardians, can work together to best serve residents, principals and wards.

Nancy Joyner:


Nancy Joyner, RN, MS, APRN-CNS, ACHPN® is a nationally recognized consultant, speaker, educator and author. As a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, she works as the palliative care specialist for the University of North Dakota, disseminating awareness and education regarding palliative care statewide. Nancy has over 40 years of nursing proficiency that includes 17 years as an advanced practice nurse in palliative care.

Nancy is an End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) trainer. She has had training through the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis. Nancy has presented and published at local, state, and national levels. She has researched and published articles on POLST, CPR decisions and advance care planning. Nancy is an ambassador for the Serious Illness Community of Practice, Ariadne Labs. She is currently president of Honoring Choices® North Dakota, North Dakota’s POLST Program Coordinator and co-creator of the HCND ACP Facilitator Certification Course.



  • Define and distinguish palliative care and hospice
  • Identify appropriate POLST conversations and the guardian’ role


  • What is Palliative Care
  • Distinction from Hospice
  • What is Hospice
  • What is POLST?
  • Comparing Healthcare Directive to POLST
  • Role of the Guardian for with decisions in decline and end of life

Questions? Call or email:

Rose Nichols

North Dakota Courts

Guardianship Monitoring Program