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Nursing to launch graduate certificate in public health

By Addy Hatch, College of Nursing


SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington State University College of Nursing will introduce a Graduate Certificate in Public Health with enrollment to begin in the fall.

The growing field of public health focuses on preventing injuries, promoting healthy lifestyles, tracking disease, and research and policy-making focused on improving the health of communities. Trained public health professionals, including nurses, are needed to serve diverse populations in Washington, especially in rural and resource-poor areas.

The new Graduate Certificate in Public Health program is open to WSU graduate students in any field, because improving public health will require professionals to work across disciplines to solve complex issues. It’s also open to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and to health-care professionals pursuing continuing education to add to their skills or even change careers.

Courses included in the curriculum, all of which are already offered by the WSU College of Nursing and the Department of Health Policy and Administration, include health policy and law, epidemiology and biostatistics, and environmental and occupational health. Students can choose one elective course tailored to their areas of interest and focus, and the curriculum includes a public health capstone project that integrates the concepts, theories and public health challenges covered in the certificate course work.

The 12-credit certificate will be offered in a flexible, mostly online format beginning fall semester 2018. The cost of the program will vary depending on each student’s enrollment status and selected course of study. It can be completed in as little as two semesters or integrated into a nursing graduate degree.

The new certificate was developed by Assistant Professor Janessa Graves, Ph.D., MPH, and Associate Professor Denise Smart, DrPH, MPH, both of the WSU College of Nursing.

“Inspiration is the seed from which great advancement and innovation is grown,” said Graves. “A public health program at WSU can inspire our students in the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, veterinary medicine, economics, business, communications, engineering and education to work together and leverage their skills to make a lasting impact on the health of the population.”

For more information on the WSU College of Nursing Graduate Certificate in Public Health, contact Denise Smart at, or (509) 324-7255.



  • Denise Smart, associate professor, WSU College of Nursing, 509-324-7255,
  • Addy Hatch, director of outreach and communication, WSU College of Nursing, 509-324-7340,

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