Sexual and Reproductive Health

The Graduate Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health is open to practicing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who provide clinical management to reproductive-aged individuals (adult-gerontology, family, and pediatric nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives) or students currently enrolled in an Advanced Practice Nursing degree program, who desire comprehensive training on abortion care and advanced sexual and reproductive health.

With the 2022 Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), abortion access has been significantly limited in many areas throughout the country, with only 26 states continuing to provide abortion care. With this, there is a need to increase abortion providers in states where abortion remains legal and to increase knowledge of abortion and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care among nurses. Nurses, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), provide care philosophically different from physician care, which has been demonstrated to be safe, high-quality, and desired by patients. With the Dobbs decision and the rapid need for expansion of abortion practice to meet the needs of states for which abortion is illegal or restricted, we critically need increased educational opportunities for nurses and APRNs across the country.

The provision of safe, accessible abortion care is a key tenet of reproductive justice, a human rights framework developed by Black women and femmes to ensure that all people have the right to create, prevent, and support the families they desire. Utilizing principles of anti-racism and reproductive justice, this certificate will enhance the ability for all people and communities to access the care they want, when they want, by the providers they choose. The goal of this graduate certificate program is to create an opportunity for APRNs to get the necessary training to independently provide inclusive and equitable abortion care for all patients seeking care.

In this graduate certificate, you will gain in depth knowledge around the history and political context of abortion in the United States, the system structures and barriers that support and/or hinder abortion care provision, abortion and early pregnancy loss management, and other advanced sexual and reproductive health care topics such as gender affirming hormone therapy, advanced contraceptive management, and complex gynecological concerns. Additionally, you will have access to a proctored clinical practicum in which you will gain skills in medication and procedural pregnancy management, with the intent of achieving beginning competency to practice independently.

 

Curriculum

The structure of the Graduate Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health is predominantly virtual and asynchronous, allowing for flexibility in access and timing of learning to meet needs of working professionals and full-time students. There will be a requirement for in-person clinical experiences in the last quarter of the program.

The curriculum includes 5 quarters of study (approximately 15 months) to complete 15 credits of coursework.

  • Fall quarter: NURS 568 History and Politics of Abortion and Family Planning (3 credits)
  • Winter quarter: NURS 570 Systems Approach to Abortion Care (3 credits)
  • Spring quarter: NURS 572 Advanced Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (3 credits)
  • Summer quarter: NURS 577 Management of Abortion and Early Pregnancy Loss (4 credits)
  • All quarters: NCLIN 579 Clinical Practicum in Sexual and Reproductive Health (2 credits)

One class is held per quarter for the first 4 quarters, and clinical placements will be individualized upon completion of NURS 579 to meet student and faculty needs and availability.

In addition to selected course work, students will complete a capstone project during their clinical practicum quarter. This project is negotiated between you and your graduate certificate faculty adviser and will encompass the development of an implementation plan for incorporating abortion care into clinical practice.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there funding available?

We are in the process of securing funding to support tuition and related expenses for all admitted students. While this is not confirmed, we hope to know by the time we notify applicants of admissions decisions.

Are international students eligible?

Yes, international students are eligible for the graduate certificate. All UW Graduate School rules apply to the graduate certificate. For more information, please visit our international applicants page.

Can I take classes in the graduate certificate without being admitted to the program?

The first three courses in the Graduate Certificate for Sexual and Reproductive Health can be taken as electives (if you meet the requirements for each course). To take the Management and Clinical Practicum courses, you have to be admitted into the Graduate Certificate. It is possible to take courses as a Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) student prior to being admitted into the program.

Is this program targeted to practicing advanced practice providers?

The program is open to currently licensed APRNs and to students who are in programs to become an APRN. We currently cannot admit applicants who are licensed as another type of advanced practice clinician, such as physician assistants. We hope to have this option available in the future.

How long does the certificate take?

The program timeline is flexible. However, most students will need at least five quarters, as the program includes core courses offered only once per year. If you are interested in the program but are concerned about finishing it in the five quarters, we encourage you to reach out to the program director.

Can students use state employee tuition exemption if they are eligible?

The program is funded through the Continuum College, so students will have to pay per credit and are not eligible for the state employee tuition exemption. However, we hope to have funding available for students who are committed to providing abortion care upon completion of the program.