PHOTO: Marit Knutson

Marit Knutson

Marit Knutson is the 2018-2019 recipient of a Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Scholarship. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate nursing education, received her registered nursing license in 2014, and is currently enrolled at Seattle Pacific University, where she is part of the last Master of Science in Nursing cohort to become a family nurse practitioner.

Prior to entering healthcare, Marit completed her first undergraduate degree in political economy, which prompted her to move to the San Francisco Bay Area. She volunteered as a grassroots organizer and activist for six years, working in a coalition to support undocumented workers; defend feminist healthcare clinics; and stand in solidarity with chronically underserved and marginalized communities facing endemic police violence. Community organizing helped her to realize that she needed to be better equipped to effectively serve and support populations with whom she worked. After learning about the role of the nurse practitioner in women’s health and community health, it was clear that the nursing profession could be a vehicle for change.

Marit brings the nursing profession her passion for feminist healthcare models and comprehensive, full-spectrum reproductive healthcare access. She is a member of several professional organizations, including Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Clinicians for Choice, and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. While attending school part-time, Marit works as a gynecology oncology/urology acute care nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center. She is active in her union, Washington State Nurses Association, and last spring served as a nurse representative on the bargaining committee in order to secure an excellent contract for her nurse colleagues.

She is passionate about further integration of sexual and reproductive healthcare as a core competency of primary care and family practice, and making routine the use of healthcare that honors the unique and varied experiences of clients with trauma histories, and in doing so providing trauma-informed care for all clients at all clinical encounters

As a future family nurse practitioner, Marit hopes to transform nurse practitioner delivery models of sexual and reproductive healthcare in her home state of Washington and to shape policy that expands the scope of practice and nurse practitioner autonomy in the realm of reproductive healthcare.

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