Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

Smiling-Baby2Experienced advanced practice nurses who have earned, or are in the process of earning, a graduate degree in nursing (MN or DNP) are eligible to apply for our Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist graduate certificate.  You will gain knowledge and experience needed to provide care to families during the prenatal and birth processes through postpartum and infancy.

The Perinatal CNS serves as an expert clinical resource for nurses, other health care providers and families and provides consultation, education, research and leadership in the care of childbearing women.

This graduate certificate is for individuals who are looking to expand their existing scope of practice as an APRN and are currently a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.

Students who are interested in perinatal study but are not yet advanced practice nurses, including nurse educators, nurse informaticists and nurse leaders, should apply through our Doctor of Nursing Practice track:


Our Perinatal CNS graduate certificate can be completed in twelve months. The curriculum is individualized for each student, but at a minimum requires completion of the core graduate Perinatal CNS curriculum.

Didactic classes typically meet on-campus one day a week and clinical seminars one day a month.  This schedule makes the program accessible to students who live outside the Seattle area and to local students with limited availability during the week.

If you live outside of Washington State, you should contact the Perinatal CNS faculty lead prior to applying to discuss clinical placement options.

National Certifications

At this time, there is no specific certification for the Perinatal CNS offered by national certification organizations.

Our Perinatal CNS curriculum follows the Women’s Health CNS Competencies published by the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) in 2014.


The post-graduate APRN certificate program at the University of Washington is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (