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Environmental Health

This program prepares nurses to take on environmental health duties within a wide range of health care settings—from local and state health departments to regulatory agencies and non-profit/advocacy organizations.

Overview

The relationship between human health and our environment, including air (indoor and out), water, food, and products is a vital part of nursing assessments. To meet this growing need, UMSON has developed the Certificate in Environmental Health for professional nurses. The program will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency roles in environmental health as well as the critical role they play in protecting environmental and public health. This 12-credit certificate program will prepare you to engage in environmental health activities within health care settings, including local and state health departments, regulatory agencies, and non-profit/advocacy organizations.

This certificate is open to professional nurses who want to develop skills in the new and emerging field of environmental health. To be eligible for the program, you must be a registered nurse and have a bachelor’s degree or be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. If you’re a graduate student, you may complete the certificate concurrently with your other graduate studies. If you are not enrolled in a graduate program at UMSON, you can complete the certificate in three semesters starting either in the fall or spring.

Program Details

Sample Plan of Study (12 Credits)

Semester Course # Course Credits
Fall NURS 730* Environmental Health I 3
Spring NURS 735 Applied Toxicology 3
Fall NURS 764 Advanced Environmental Health 3
Variable XXX** Environmental Health Elective 3
    Total Credits 12

*NURS 730 is offered in both the spring and fall semesters.

**A range of environmental health courses are available and noted in the Courses tab. This flexibility is built into the certificate to allow the student an opportunity to extensively explore a specific aspect of environmental health. This course selection must be approved by the program director. NOTE: Not all the options listed below are offered in a given semester or online, and the list is not exhaustive.

Courses

NURS 730 Environmental Health

This course explores the relationship between human health and the environment. Students learn the basic assessment techniques to determining risks in their personal lives and in the health care setting. They explore the nature of environmental justice, current environmental health policies, and have an opportunity to focus on an area of specific interest. Each student is responsible for a class presentation on their area of interest.

NURS 735 Applied Toxicology

This course was developed by nurses for nurses with an understanding that most nurses have not taken biochemistry. The course provides nurses with a basic understanding of the physiology of toxicological mechanisms. It also uses common exposures to examine toxicological data, assess risk, communicate about the risk, and consider how policies are determined in light of the risk data.

NURS 764 Advanced Environmental Health

This course introduces students to a more in-depth exploration of a number of environmental health issues including air pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, climate change, and agriculturally and food-related exposures and concerns. During the course of the semester the student is expected to prepare a paper on an environmental health topic of their choice for a nursing publication. This mentored process includes student peer-to-peer reviews.

Optional Course

System-wise, the University of Maryland has a number of schools that collectively provide students with a multitude of choices to explore an additional area of environmental health or population-based health studies. The following are some examples, but not an exhaustive list:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
NURS 769 Society, Health, and Social Justice
NURS 664 Critical Issues in Global Health
NURS 622 Systems and Population Health Care
NURS 671 Epidemiological Assessment Strategies
NURS 761 Populations at Risk in Community/Public Health
 
University of Maryland School of Medicine
SOM 611 Exposure, Risk, and Public Health
SOM 600 Principles of Epidemiology
 
University of Maryland, College Park
EPIB 610 Foundations of Epidemiology
EPIB 622  Social Determinants of Health
EPIB 623  Epidemiology of Health Disparities
EPIB 624  Genetics and Public Health
HLTH 606  Foundations of Public Health Education
HLTH 665  Health Behavior I
HLTH 670 Public Health Informatics and Communication
ENST 647  Advanced Biodiversity, Ecology, and Human Health
GEOG 600  Introduction to Human Geography
GEOG 614  Human Dimensions of Global Change 
GEOG 635  Population and Environment 
MIEH 600  Foundations in Environmental Health 
MIEH 710  Major Environmental Pollutants 
MIEH 740  Environmental Health Risk Assessment 
MIEH 770  Law and Policy in Environmental Health 
MIEH 773  Biological Contaminants in the Environment 
  
University of Maryland, Baltimore County  
GES 601  Introduction to Geography and Environmental Systems 
GES 636  Global Environmental Issues 

Faculty

Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN
Director, Environmental Health Certificate
Assistant Professor

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in the Certificate in Environmental Health, you must be a registered nurse with a bachelor's or higher degree or a current graduate student at UMSON.

To apply, please submit:

  • Official transcripts for all prior higher education – undergraduate and graduate -- if applicable
  • Two letters of recommendation. (Reference letters must come from a mentor, teacher, employer, fellow student, or professional colleague who can speak knowledgably about your potential to successfully complete this certificate program.)
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae

Mail additional materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, and CVs) to:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here to apply now. 

What You'll Do

After earning your Certificate in Environmental Health, you’ll be prepared to:

  • Assess common environmental health exposures in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
  • Apply the basic principles of toxicology to environmental health problems.
  • Develop intervention strategies to reduce individual and community-wide exposures to potentially toxic exposures.
  • Communicate about health risks associated with environmental exposures.
  • Note the contribution that disproportionate environmental exposures can have on health disparities.
  • Access credible scientific sources of information regarding the relationship between human health and the environment.
  • Advocate for institutional, legislative, and regulatory policies that protect the environment and promote environmental health.
  • Develop institutional strategies toward sustainability and environmental health.
  • Identify the special vulnerabilities to environmental impacts that humans face through the life stages.
  • Consider the role that biological monitoring and its resulting body burden data should have on environmental policies and practices.

Contact Information