Nurse Midwife Program
Nurse midwifery education is based on an understanding of health sciences theory and clinical preparation that shapes knowledge, judgment, and skills deemed necessary to provide primary health care management to women and newborns. The University of Michigan School of Nursing Nurse Midwife program will prepare students for the American Midwifery Certification Board exam.
Midwifery practice as conducted by nurse-midwives (NMWs) is the independent management of women’s health care, focusing particularly on pregnancy, childbirth, the post-partum period, care of the newborn, and the family planning and gynecologic needs of women.
“The Michigan Difference” in Midwifery
A History of Pioneering Leadership and Innovation
The University of Michigan School of Nursing has been a leader in midwifery education for the last twenty years. In 1990, we created the first graduate nurse midwifery program in the state of Michigan to prepare scholarly, clinically competent nurse-midwives educated to meet the primary care needs of essentially healthy women across the life span, as well as providing care for normal newborns. We have led the field in research and practice ever since and are currently ranked among the top 10 nurse midwifery programs by US News and World Report
World-Class Faculty Leaders in Education, Research, and Practice
Faculty that teach in our program are not only excellent instructors and researchers, but also expert clinicians who maintain active practices at the University of Michigan Health System
– a premier health care organization. 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 midwifery care and education.
Diverse Practice Settings and Exposure to the Full Spectrum of Care
The School of Nursing provides diverse clinical placement opportunities for all of our students in a wide variety of settings, including international opportunities. Our clinical settings expose students to the entire spectrum of care – from practices that allow for high touch, low tech care like low risk home births to high volume, high risk hospital births. Additionally, our students are typically exposed to approximately 50 births in diverse settings over the course of their studies and interact with service midwives who are also actively involved with students in the classroom setting.
Significant International Outreach and Global Opportunities
Women and children are the most vulnerable populations in global health, and students interested in careers in international health should consider our family nurse midwife specialty. The School of Nursing is a designated World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center
and many of our midwifery faculty are actively engaged in international settings for their practice and research creating the opportunity for international clinical experiences. Past opportunities have included Liberia, Ghana, Taiwan, Honduras, Guatemala, and New Zealand just to name a few.
Innovative, Groundbreaking Research Specific to Pregnancy and Childbirth
The University of Michigan School of Nursing is known for research that is nurse midwife and birth focused. In addition clinically-driven birth projects and research initiatives specific to pregnancy and childbirth, we collaborate with other units and departments on campus for interdisciplinary research efforts. While the midwifery field is the obvious beneficiary of these commitments, our student benefit as well from the inclusion of the most up-to-date information possible in their courses.
The ACNM describes the art and science of midwifery as being characterized by the following hallmarks:
- Recognition of pregnancy, birth and menopause as normal physiologic and developmental processes
- Advocacy of non-intervention in the absence of complications
- Incorporation of scientific evidence into clinical practice as well as the evaluation and incorporation of complementary and alternative therapies in education and practice
- Promotion of family-centered care
- Empowerment of women as partners in health care and advocacy for informed choice, shared decision-making and the right to self-determination
- Facilitation of health family and interpersonal relationships through skillful communication, guidance and counseling
- Promotion of continuity of care and a public health care perspective
- Health promotion, disease prevention, and health education
- Care to vulnerable populations
- Cultural competence
- Therapeutic value of human presence
- Collaboration with other members of the health care team
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 and childbirth followed by newborn care. Clinical experience is integral through the program and culminates in an eight week intensive clinical experience. A range of opportunities are available to students for the intensive clinical experience, including international settings.
Nurse-midwives (NMWs) have been ushering American women through pregnancy and other normal stages of life since the early 1900s and today women seek midwives for prenatal care, birth, postpartum care, gynecologic exams, vaginal infections, and birth control.
Midwives can work 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, the skills Midwives use are globally recognized, meaning midwives 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 patient’s lives. Midwives can empower women to take more active roles in making decisions about their healthcare and lifestyle habits.
Ultimately, midwifery is a dynamic practice. While midwives learn an art that often reduces the need for high-tech interventions, 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 midwives use a range of skills to provide them with the best level of care.
For more information about the profession, visit the following websites:
Listed below are the required courses for the Nurse Midwife Program. Nurse Midwife students will be placed in clinical settings appropriate to the role, the curriculum is offered in an on-campus format; however, a few of the core courses may be web-blended (the University of Michigan School of Nursing does not offer a completely on-line curriculum). The Nurse Midwife program is offered as a spring-summer term (May) or fall term (September) start only. Admitted students to the spring-summer term are offered a 2 year or 3 year program plan; students admitted to the fall term are offered a 3 year or 4 year program plan.
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The Theoretical Base for Advanced Nursing Practice
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Strategy for Nursing and Health Care
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Utilization of Nursing Research in Advanced Practice (An approved statistics and undergraduate research course must be taken before registering for N536)
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Data Management, Analysis and Representation for Advanced Practice in Nursing
|N502 ||Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan ||4|
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Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses
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Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Across the Lifespan
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Antepartum Care of Essentially Normal Women
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Advanced Primary Care Nursing I: Health Promotion and Management of Acute Health Problems of Adults and Well Women/GYN Care
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Intrapartum, Postpartum and Newborn Care
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Nurse-Midwifery IV-Integration: The Childbearing Cycle
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Professional Issues in Nurse-Midwifery
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High Risk Perinatal Nursing
Required Cognate Courses
Pharmacotherapeutics I (required)
As selected by the student
One additional approved cognate course relevant to graduate education (a minimum of 2 total credits)
Minimum 2 credits
Minimum Number of Credits Required = 51
Minimum Required Clinical Hours = 728