The care and empowerment of women and newborns

Nurse Midwife Program

Best Nursing Grad School for Nurse Midwifery, U.S. News and World ReportProgram

Nurse Midwife Program

Program Focus


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 exposed to clinical practice experiences in diverse settings over the course of their studies and interact with midwives as clinical preceptors 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 have opportunities throughout the program to participate in international health experiences. The School of Nursing is a designated PAHO/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, South Sudan, Rwanda, The Netherlands, and Honduras.

Innovative, Groundbreaking Research Specific to Pregnancy and Childbirth

The University of Michigan School of Nursing is known for high quality women's health research with program faculty focusing on areas that are midwife and birth focused. In addition clinically-driven research initiatives specific to pregnancy and childbirth, we collaborate with other units and departments on campus for interdisciplinary research efforts. Our students benefit from having faculty with clinical research expertise who bring the most up to date information into the classroom and courses.


The University of Michigan School of Nursing's Nurse Midwife Program meets and/or exceeds the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice as outlined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). 
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 throughout 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 the range of birth sites as well as international settings.

Specialty Appeal

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 primary health care services, 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 women’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 educated to make individualized assessments when caring for women and their newborns which may include use of varied forms of technology as indicated. No day is ever the same. Each woman’s and family’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:


The Nurse Midwifery Master's Degree and Post Master's option are accredited 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 four years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) 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. Graduation rates are indicated below.
Academic year cohort
Graduation rate
Available in December 2016

The University of Michigan School of Nursing Nurse Midwifery Program was reaccredited for 10 years in February 2016 following their successful re-accrediation site visit in October 2015.  

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


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 Nurse Midwife program is offered as a fall term (September) start only. There is a 2-year and a 3-year option for the set program plan for the Nurse Midwife curriculum.

Sample Plan of Study 

Course NumberCourse Name
Course Credits
Term Offered
Core Courses
N528Models, Theories and Methods to Promote Optimal Health Outcomes
N527Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Healthcare Delivery
N529Scientific and Analytic Approaches for Advanced Practice
Specialty Courses
Course Credits
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
Intrapartum, Postpartum and Newborn Care
Nurse-Midwifery IV-Integration: The Childbearing Cycle
Transition to Advanced Practice: Professional Issues
Care of the Childbearing Woman
N571Advanced Midwifery Clinical2
Required Cognate Courses
Pharmacotherapeutics I
Minimum Number of Credits Required = 48
Minimum Required Clinical Hours = 730
 More information is available in student handbooks.