Heading image for Certificate in health care innovation [View Image]

Certificate in health care innovation

From the blog

Want more information?

Please fill out this form and someone will contact you.

Ready to apply? APPLY HERE!

The Graduate Certificate in Health Care Innovation, a collaboration between the VCU School of Nursing and the VCU da Vinci Center, is the first of its kind in Virginia. The certificate equips students with specific knowledge and skills to become leaders in developing digital and physical products, as well as processes related to the development and implementation of innovative solutions to health care issues, such as rising costs and improving quality and access to care. 

Students will learn specialized skills and knowledge including:

  • problem identification
  • product development
  • user analysis
  • prototyping
  • testing
  • marketing
  • intellectual property protection (patents, copyrights & trademarks)
  • commercialization opportunities

A recent example of these skills and knowledge applied in health care is a sock-like wearable device being designed by Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, Ph.D., RN, senior nurse researcher at the School of Nursing, and Hawa Stwodah, M.F.A., assistant professor in the School of the Arts. The device incorporates vibration therapy to help Parkinson’s patients who have difficulty walking. Other examples include RoundTrip, a startup using an Uber/Lyft on demand ride sharing platform to connect patients who require medical transport to qualified drivers, and DuraSafe, a new epidural device that reduces medical errors through an automated delivery mechanism in the administration of epidurals.


Click here to learn how to apply 

Program duration

The graduate certificate program is 12 credit hours in a hybrid format of online and in-person. Full-time, non-degree seeking students can complete the certificate in two semesters, with a course load of six credits each in the fall and spring semesters. Part-time, non-degree seeking students and degree-seeking students can complete the certificate in four semesters with a three-credit load each semester. 

Curriculum requirements

Students will complete coursework, online and in traditional classroom formats, to develop specific knowledge and skills in leadership and processes related to development and implementation of innovative solutions to health care issues, such as rising costs and improving quality and access to care. The nursing courses are offered online and the da Vinci Center courses are offered in the traditional classroom format. The curriculum focuses on merging principles of leadership in health care and principles of product innovation and emphasizes the analysis of organization and clinical processes for effective operations. Problem identification, product development, user analysis, prototyping, testing, marketing, and commercialization opportunities will be emphasized.

Required courses/credit hours

12 credit hours of master's level courses (view course descriptions). All nursing courses are taught online. 

Students select 6 credit hours from the following:
NURS 515Holistic Leadership in Health Care Delivery (3)
NURS 517Organization Science Implications for Human and Material Resource Management (3)
NURS 603Improvement Science and Outcomes Management (3)


Students select 6 credits from option A or B: 
Option A: 
INNO 502Business Principles for Product Innovation (3)
INNO 600Integrative Design Studio (3)
INNO 691Topics in Product Innovation (3)
Option B: 
INNO 651Master’s Project in Product Innovation (6) – students obtain all skills and knowledge needed to develop project within this course.


Nursing courses will be taught by faculty in the School of Nursing; INNO courses will be taught by faculty associated with the da Vinci Center.


Creating collaboration. Advancing science. Impacting lives. [View Image]
View graphic version