Nurse-Midwifery Graduate Academic Program
Nurse-Midwifery as a Career
Nurse-midwifery offers a wide variety of professional career pathways. Nurse-midwives are known for their evidence-based care that is grounded in affirming the power of women, honoring the normalcy of their lifecycles, and prioritizing compassionate partnerships with women (ACNM). Beyond pregnancy and childbirth care, services provided by nurse-midwives include primary, well-woman gynecology, family planning, fertility, and newborn care during the first 28 days of life.
Studying to Be a Nurse-Midwife in Oregon
Oregon is a highly appealing state in which to learn nurse-midwifery. Beyond the geographic benefit that Portland is 75 miles east of the Pacific Ocean and 75 miles west of the Cascade mountain range, the nurse-midwifery profession has a long-term, strong, foothold in maternity, gynecologic, and reproductive care here. Nurse-midwives attend almost 20% of the births in the Portland metropolitan area. They are employed in almost every hospital in the area. The home birth community has a strong presence in Portland. Nurse-midwives in Oregon are licensed, independent nurse-practitioners who have prescriptive authority. Many work outside of maternity care, providing excellent care at Planned Parenthood or private gynecology offices. The American College of Nurse-Midwives' local affiliate provides strong student support as well as an opportunity for students to volunteer on behalf of the profession. Our students benefit from all of these wonderful opportunities in Oregon.
Student Clinical Experiences at OHSU (and beyond)
The OHSU Nurse-Midwifery Faculty Practice is a robust 30+ year old practice at OHSU Hospital and Clinics, which is an academic health center. We attend a large portion of the births at OHSU hospital. Our practice is the chief clinical site of our midwifery students. Students work one-on-one with faculty preceptors in the outpatient midwifery clinic, birthing rooms, mother-baby unit, triage unit, and lactation clinics. At some point during the 4 quarters of intrapartum (labor and birth) clinical experiences, each student is offered the opportunity to learn "off-the-hill" (OHSU is located about 2/3 of the way up an 1100 foot hill) in other sites that provide opportunities for working with diverse patient populations and practices. The integration (final) practicum is situated in a variety of possible sites in Oregon or beyond. Students receive more than 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice in the program.
Our Faculty are Special
Our nurse-midwifery faculty have extensive experience in full-scope nurse-midwifery and teaching midwifery graduate students, ranging from several years to over 3 decades. Faculty who teach in the classroom work directly with students in the faculty practice. Many of our faculty are Spanish-speaking. Some of our faculty have worked in out-of-hospital birth settings or have volunteered internationally. All faculty love sharing their passion for nurse-midwifery with our midwifery students.
"I graduated from the midwifery program in 2008 while completing an MPH. The abundant opportunities available to students for learning and collaboration helped to expand my world as a future health care provider and advocate for public health policy. My faculty and colleagues were supportive, inspiring and wholly committed simultaneously to our education and to the care of their patients. I had a blast as a student...so much so that I came back! Now, as one of the OHSU nurse-midwifery faculty, I hope to help midwifery students thrive in the clinical environment and beyond. I can attest--having been on both sides of the program--that it's special here and that our graduates leave with the skills to practice anywhere in the world."
Pathways of Education for Nurse-Midwifery
Some students enter our program having already completed a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. These full-time students typically are eligible for nurse-midwifery certification after completing 2 years of didactic and clinical education and receiving the master of nursing degree.
The majority of our students, who do not have a Bachelor's Degree in nursing, are admitted to the Accelerated Bachelor's Program/ Nurse-Midwifery Graduate Program. This option allows students to pre-identify nurse-midwifery as their graduate area of intent. They progress seamlessly into the midwifery program after successfully completing a rigorous accelerated bachelor's in nursing program at OHSU. They then achieve a Master of Nursing (MN) and are eligible for nurse-midwifery certification.
Both pathways include the option to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which adds an additional year to the educational timeframe after certification.
Studying and Learning
The Nurse-Midwifery program at OHSU prepares students to meet the unique health care needs of women. Nurse-Midwives provide primary and gynecologic care to women as well as specialty care and support for expecting mothers and their infants. In addition to the reproductive science, students examine the influences of culture;tradition and the social, economic and political forces that influence the health of women. All OHSU students participate in a one year interprofessional education course where they study with other health profession students, such as medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry. The program strives to prepare compassionate, skilled clinician-scholars willing to address issues that affect the lives of women.
The Nurse-Midwifery program of study has been designed to offer a combination of graduate core courses, advanced practice core and midwifery specialty courses. This combination prepares our students for practice in the field and simultaneously provides a framework for clinical leadership and policy that is critical for any midwife in practice. The nurse-midwifery program of study provides students with a solid foundation in the scientific basis for clinical practice. Students develop the knowledge and skills to provide safe nurse-midwifery care using sound clinical judgment to care for women in the context of her family.
The Nurse-Midwifery program offers strong clinical experience with a focus on evidence-based practice. Graduates of the Nurse-Midwifery specialty are eligible to take the national certification examination of the American Midwifery Certification Board.
Nurse-Midwifery Program Accreditation
Our program received a full ten-year accreditation at the last site visit by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.
The Nurse-Midwifery Program is accredited through 2021 by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, Suite 1550, 8403 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, 20910, 240 485 1802 web site at http://www.midwife.org/Program-Accreditation.
Data on our Students:
US News &World Report
The OHSU graduate nurse-midwifery program was ranked in the top tier training programs by US News &World Report in 2016. The range of scores for the top 6 programs ranged from 4.0 to 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 (outstanding). Our program's score was 4.0. These rankings are based on peer assessment surveys sent to deans, faculty, and other administrators at accredited degree programs.
Our Students' Perspectives and Opportunities
"The CNM faculty midwives are very invested in preparing students to be safe, competent, compassionate new midwives trained in the midwifery model of care. Each faculty midwife, with her own unique clinical background, brings a different perspective to the care of the patient. I feel that I was very well prepared to enter a busy, full-scope clinical practice after graduation. I am very grateful for the education I received at OHSU!"
Kirstin R. Johnson
Class of 2015
"Plain and simple, regardless of the program, the experience of becoming a nurse-midwife is life changing. That said, I could not be more confident in my education at OHSU and proud of my journey from the Acc Bac to Midwifery to DNP program. My cohort was supportive and without a doubt, kept me going when it all felt impossible. Getting me out for a quick lunch time run in Forest Park, lots of fabulous baked goods for class snacks, and really big hugs and laughter, these women are my sisters! The midwifery faculty practice provided consistent mentorship and was a great opportunity to get to know our educators as midwives and women. Where style may differ, their commitment to women, evidence-based care, and safety were constant, creating a holistic learning experience where I learned I can be a great midwife and I can be me."
Now as I find myself at the beginning my career as a midwife with a DNP, I feel prepared for this new journey. I am not alone, I am stronger because of the community I come from and can rely on while I continue on this path of walking along side women.
Class of 2016
Our students enjoy a wide variety of student and professional opportunities at OHSU and in the Portland metropolitan area.
More Information on Application and Admission to Our Program
The general competencies that must be met for the master of nursing for the AGACNP, FNP, HSOL, MNE, NA, NMW, PNP and PMHNP programs are:
- Apply advanced knowledge in the science of a specialty area of advanced nursing practice.
- Use emerging information and health technologies to access current research and health care data to improve patient care.
- Make sound, culturally appropriate and ethically grounded clinical judgments based on critical analysis of the best available evidence.
- Demonstrate the leadership skills that are essential for influencing policy and organizational systems for improving patient outcomes.
In addition to meeting the general Master of Nursing competencies the objectives for students at the completion of the OHSU School of Nursing nurse- midwifery program include:
- Demonstrate the independent management of primary health screening and health promotion of women from the perimenarcheal through postmenopausal periods.
- Demonstrate the independent management of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
- Demonstrate the independent management of the care of the well newborn during the first 28 days of life.
- Evaluate, utilize, interpret and collaborate in research.
- Demonstrate professional accountability through collaborative communication in the provision of midwifery care to women and their families.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of health care principles and a familiarity with the American College of Nurse-Midwives standards for the practice of midwifery and code of ethics.
- Demonstrate critical thinking and clinical judgment in the practice of clinical midwifery.
- Apply interpersonal and communication skills to care for diverse populations of women and their families.
- Demonstrate development of leadership skills directed toward representation of the midwifery model of care in clinical practice, health policy, education and scholarship.