Our History

Three of the original nursing student participants smiling at the cameraThe history of Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health is rooted in student organizing efforts at two nursing schools: Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland and Winona State University in Minnesota. Nursing Students for Reproductive Health and Justice (NSRHJ) was founded at OHSU in 2005 and Nursing Students for Choice (NSFC) was founded at Winona State University in 2006. Both organizations were focused at filling critical gaps in their nursing curricula and promoting pro-choice issues on campus. In 2007 these two organizations joined forces to create a national network of student-led chapters called, Nursing Students for Choice (NSFC). As the organization continued to evolve, the focus was broadened to address issues of sexual and reproductive health and so the organization became Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSSRH) in 2017.

For 10 years, the organization provided critical financial, coaching, and educational support to dozens of nursing student-led chapters at colleges and universities across the country participating in a variety of organizing and advocacy efforts. Chapters have organized: educational workshops, multi-week seminars, journal and book clubs, movie screenings, and clinical rotations. Students in our network have written op-eds and participated in campaigns to challenge local, state and national policy. They have successfully pushed for curriculum reform in their schools, and some even gained leadership positions in nationally recognized organizations. In addition to providing funding and coaching support to our chapters, we have also created educational resources, provided scholarships for students to educational conferences, and organized an annual activist conference to foster community-building and learning across the network.

This journey would not have been possible without ongoing collaborations across the pro-choice movement and beyond. Early partnerships were made with If/When/How, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, Provide, and other student organizing groups such as Medical Students for Choice. Over the years, these partnerships expanded and deepened, and efforts were made to re-frame the organization to incorporate full-spectrum sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. In 2017, NSSRH proudly merged with Reproductive Health in Nursing (RhN), catalyzing a new effort to incorporate nursing professionals, faculty and scholars into the fold. In 2018, a new organization emerged, Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH).

First NSFC Conference Group Photo