The care of families, from the start

Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner (Combined) Program


Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner (Combined)

Program Focus


The Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum combines the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner and the Nurse Midwife programs, allowing students to sit for certification exams in both of these areas upon full program completion. The program is based on an understanding of health sciences theory and clinical preparation that shapes knowledge, judgment, and skills necessary to provide primary health care to individuals across the lifespan, including during pregnancy and childbirth and from infancy to old age. With a strong emphasis on health promotion, our program focuses on the development of healthy behaviors as they pertain to diverse groups at different developmental stages.


The primary benefit of the Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner dual program is that it broadens the scope of practice beyond that of a Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or a Nurse Midwife alone. The program combines the core strengths of the FNP and NM programs to prepare culturally competent practitioners who provide the full range of primary care across all stages in a person’s life. This includes women’s healthcare such as pregnancy, childbirth, the post-partum period, care of the newborn, and the family planning and gynecologic needs of women as well as caring for the rest of the family members through the provision of well care to children and adults and the diagnosis and management of common acute and chronic health problems. Because of the comprehensive scope of the program, individuals who graduate from the dual program and successfully complete both board certifications often practice in rural or international locations using this broad scope of practice across all patient populations.

“The Michigan Difference” in Midwifery

World-Class Faculty Leaders in Education, Research, and Practice

Faculty that teach in the Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner program are not only excellent instructors and researchers, but also expert clinicians who maintain active practices at prestigious institutions such as the University of Michigan Health System – a premier health care organization- as well as in international settings. In addition to their teaching, research, and practice, our faculty are actively involved in leadership roles in national organizations, using their expertise to help shape and advance the future of FNP and CNM care and education.

Diverse Practice Settings and Exposure to the Full Spectrum of Care

The School of Nursing provides diverse clinical placement experiences that expose students to the entire spectrum of care. Depending on their interests and strengths, students have learned in practices that allow for high touch, low tech care (e.g. low risk home births) as well as in hospitals for high volume, high risk births. They’ve been placed with School of Nursing faculty who practice at school-based clinics, shelters, and community facilities (e.g. Michelle Pardee at Ozone House). Others have worked in fast paced specialty clinics affiliated with major hospital systems (e.g. Taylor Teen Clinic). In addition to this formal placement experience, students have the opportunity to engage in more general health promotion by participating in community health fairs, health education, and local and state politics involving nurse practitioners.

Significant International Outreach and Global Opportunities

Women and children are the most vulnerable populations in global health, making the Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner program a logical fit for students interested in using their skills globally. The School of Nursing is a designated PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center and many of our FNP and CNM faculty are actively engaged in international settings, a fact that creates unique opportunity for master’s students to complete their clinical experiences outside of the United States. Past opportunities have included Liberia, Netherlands, Ghana, Taiwan, and Honduras.

Innovative, Groundbreaking Research Specific to Maternal Health & Health Promotion

The University of Michigan School of Nursing is known both for its research that is midwife/birth-focused as well as for its innovative primary care research based on health promotion and risk reduction. In addition to nursing driven and focused projects, we collaborate with other units and departments on campus for interdisciplinary research efforts. While the fields of midwifery and family nursing are the obvious beneficiary of these commitments, our students benefit as well from the inclusion of the most up-to-date information possible in their courses.
Students also have opportunity to participate with faculty on their research projects and collaborations. For example, students have collaborated with Dr. Jody Lori in Liberia, using a human rights approach to reducing maternal mortality. They have worked with Dr. Ruth Zielinski to conduct training sessions for health care providers in Burma and from South Sudan. Students have also studied alongside Dr. Barbara Brush on measures to promote physical and psychosocial well-being in homeless women and children, and with Dr. Lisa Kane Low in Honduras on second stage labor management. And these are just a small handful of examples where students have had the opportunity to engage with faculty to produce quality research and insights that make meaningful contributions to existing scholarship in the field.


The University of Michigan School of Nursing Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner program meets and exceeds the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice as outlined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) as well as the Core Competencies for Family Nurse Practitioners outlined by the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).
The process of education at the University of Michigan School of Nursing begins with a solid foundation in primary care. The curriculum then builds to include pregnancy care, childbirth, and newborn care. Clinical experience is integral throughout the program, with a range of opportunities available to students for the intensive clinical experience including global settings. Ultimately, the program focuses on training advanced practice nurses who can provide care across the lifespan while also providing the highest quality midwifery care to women and their newborns.


Specialty Appeal

Dually prepared Nurse Midwives and Family Nurse Practitioners are in demand. Using their dual preparation, students are able to provide women's health care and primary family health care across the lifespan. Because of this, they are ideally trained to care for whole communities in urban, rural, or international locations where their expertise can support increased access to health promotion and provide added healthcare options that might otherwise be severely limited.
Graduates of this type of program can practice in a number of settings (e.g. birth centers, hospitals, private or public clinics) and apply their training to multiple ends (e.g. teaching, advocacy, research, public education). As well as being in demand locally, their skills can be used globally, meaning graduates from our dual program can work almost anywhere in the world.
In addition to the practical benefits, a huge amount of personal satisfaction and respect comes from making a difference in the health and well-being of a family. Graduates with dual certification as a CNM and FNP can empower women to take more active roles in making decisions about their healthcare and lifestyle habits and help entire families make smarter, healthier decisions, reducing their risk of health complications later.
Ultimately, the scope of practice graduates are educated for is dynamic. Graduates learn the art of midwifery that often reduces the need for high-tech interventions and the health promotion skills that can prevent illness and lead to simpler medical treatment. However, they are also highly skilled practitioners trained to make the latest in safe scientific procedures available to their patients. No day is ever the same. Each patient’s needs are different and graduates use a range of skills to provide them with the best level of care.


Listed below are the required courses for the Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) combined program. Students in the Nurse Midwife and Family NP combined program will be placed in clinical settings appropriate to the Nurse Midwife and to the Family NP role. The curriculum is offered in an on-campus format; however, a few of the core courses may be web-blended. The Nurse Midwife and Family NP combined program is offered as a fall term (September) start only. The set program plan for the Nurse Midwife and Family NP combined program is a full-time, 3.5 year program.

 Sample Plan of Study

Course Number
Course Name
Course Credits
N528Models, Theories and Methods to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes3
N527Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare Delivery3
N529Scientific and Analytic Approaches for Advanced Practice3
N502Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan4
Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
Antepartum Care of Essentially Normal Women
Advanced Primary Care Nursing I: Health Promotion and Management of Acute Health Problems of Adults and Well Women/GYN Care
N676Intrapartum, Postpartum and Newborn Care7
N677Nurse-Midwifery IV-Integration: The Childbearing Cycle5
N678Professional Issues in Nurse-Midwifery2
N674CDM III: Advanced Primary Care Nursing of Adults and Families with Complex Systems8
N561Care of the Childbearing Woman1
N571Advanced Midwifery Clinical 2
N568Critical Elements and the Study of Family and Health3
N646Primary Care of Older Adults3
N666Advanced Primary Care Nursing of Chronic Illness in Adults and Their Families5
N557CDM I: Infant, Child, and Adolescent Health: Wellness and Management of Common Illness2
N677Nurse-Midwifery IV-Integration: The Childbearing Cycle4
N678Transition to Advanced Practice: Professional Issues3
N589Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Clinical Practicum2
N554Advanced Practice Specialty Procedures and Skills for Primary Care2
Required Cognates
Pharmacotherapeutics I
P621Pharmacotherapeutics II4
HS505Team-Based Clinical Decision Making2
Total Credits = 80
Minimum clinical hours during program = 1,272
(504 Family NP clinical hours + 768 Nurse Midwife clinical hours)

More information is available in Student Handbooks.

The University of Michigan School of Nursing Nurse Midwifery programs were reaccredited for 10 years in February 2016 following their successful re-accrediation site visit in October 2015 by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). For inquiries about accreditation, please contact ACME at 8403 Colesville Road Suite 1550 Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374,, email

In the last three years (2012, 2013, 2014) the pass rate for taking the exam the first time has been 100%. To date, all students who have taken the American Midwifery Certification Board exam after graduation from our program have successfully passed.

For information about the University of Michigan Nurse-Midwifery program please email