End of Life Doula Professional Certificate

Student Testimonials

At the University of Vermont, each of our End of Life Doula students has a unique story to tell.  What will your story be?

I have been a hospice nurse for over 20 years. I wasn’t sure how much I would receive from this course. Well, I received more than I bargained for. I did not realize how burnt out I was until I took this course. I had become mechanical, I love hospice work, but it can be draining. There are long hours, and usually not enough nurses, so we all chip in to meet the needs of our clients. This course restored my love for this work, and my compassionate and loving heart was revived.

-Lisa M., RN, MDiv, Practicing Doula


Go in with an open heart and mind. Set aside your expectations and just soak up the knowledge and expertise you are experiencing. Share your thoughts with others. Do not think, no matter how much experience you have, that you have little to learn. There is a vast amount of information at your fingertips and a whole world to take it to for service to others.

-Debra D., LPN


This is an excellent introduction to the role of an EOL doula. It can help you understand if this is an area you would like to explore. This is especially helpful as an adjunct for anyone working within the healthcare system, chaplaincy, mental health field. Augments your understanding of end of life issues and helps with ways to support your clients.

-Allison B., RN, BSN

As a hospice worker, death-awareness educator, and volunteer caregiver, I’ve been deeply involved in providing end-of-life care in some capacity for more than 16 years. So, when I first heard about this class, I honestly didn’t expect to learn anything new. Thankfully, my curiosity was stronger than my skepticism. This class is superb. It is thoughtfully prepared and full of valuable resources. Assignments are not only informative, they include skill-building exercises that have the power to expand self-awareness and transform the way I approach this important work. The instructors are extremely knowledgeable, engaged, accessible, and highly skilled at providing helpful, motivating feedback. I give this class an excellent rating and look forward to more opportunities to work with this group.

-Karen R., 2017 End of Life Doula Certificate Graduate


It is a wonderful addition to anyone working in hospice, palliative care, oncology and psychology. It is a journey in emotional and spiritual growth.

-Karyn F., RN, BSN, MA, CPCA, Reiki 3rd degree, Certified M Technique, Aspiring Doula


This course is a must for anyone interested in end of life care. The instructors took a truly multi-faceted approach, utilizing many different tools to accommodate all learning types. I loved the course material, and especially the self-work that was required. One very special element was the forums, which we used to communicate with our classmates. We were able to speak out with our thoughts, help each other, and best of all, learn from each other’s experiences. It was an all-around enriching 8 weeks!

-Emily C., 2017 End of Life Doula Certificate Graduate


The End of Life Doula Certificate program was both challenging and transformational. My mind was opened to unfamiliar territory and my heart was opened to the compassion inherent in this work. The content was expansive, rich, and thought-provoking, with varied styles in presentation, assignments, and experts. I appreciated the responsiveness and dedication of the instructor and the UVM team. This was an excellent opportunity to gain new perspectives into the world of dying and to reflect on how I might be of service in that community.

-Laurie B., 2017 End of Life Doula Certificate Graduate


This course is not “just another class”! It offered me a profound experience of deep self-reflection, enriched by graciously shared insights from a safe and supportive peer community. The gently guided process has enlightened me personally and professionally, by highlighting fundamental life-skills, and offering a powerful toolbox for the End of Life Doula role. It is inspiring me to go deeper into researching the wisdom of End of Life. Thank you for an amazing first-time, on-line class adventure.

-Dorothea L., 2017 End of Life Doula Certificate Graduate


Things in life are never coincidental. About three weeks after my husband passed away from stomach cancer, on my first day back to work as a massage therapist, I had a new client. I happened to mention that she seemed overwhelmingly sad. She told me that her mother had been sick and had passed away three weeks ago. She told me that they had hired a “death doula” and it was amazingly helpful to her mother and her family. I said “Wow, that sounds like amazing work, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.” That’s when she told me about the University of Vermont and the End of Life Doula program. I immediately went home and signed up.

When we began in September, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had never done online training and was a little scared. For anyone a little nervous about online learning this staff walks you through each and every detail. This has been an amazing journey that has helped me to not only grieve, but know that the feelings that I was experiencing were normal. The reading assignments were beautiful as were the live sessions and various videos that we watched. I am currently a massage therapist/reiki practitioner who has my first client who is terminal and doing well. Since she is still very mobile, I am seeing her every two weeks for reiki and talks. I have met with her family and I will be present for her transition. I cannot say “thank you” enough to the University of Vermont for providing this beautiful transition in my life.

-Melissa A. V., 2017 End of Life Doula Certificate Graduate