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Pathways into Midwifery

Opportunities for the Study of Midwifery
| Direct-Entry Route | Nurse-Midwifery Route| The Certified Midwife |

See also: Suggestions On How An Aspiring Midwife Can Begin Her Journey| Two Roads into Midwifery by Cordelia Hanna | The Spiritual Calling of Direct-Entry Midwife Shelly Girard, CPM, LM by Cordelia Hanna | Tova Seigel, CNM: A Nurse-Midwife's Journey into the Profession by Cordelia Hanna | What's Happening in the Southern California Midwifery Scene|Midwifery Organizations Throughout the U.S. and Abroad| Midwifery Education Accredidation Council-Pre-Accredited and Accredited Programs|

midwife checking newborn's heartbeat

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsucessful [Wo]men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated failures.
Persistance and determination alone are omnipotent."

--Calvin Coolidge

Dear Aspiring Midwives and Mentors:

Midwifery programs come and go, contact people and e-mail addresses change. It's hard for one lonely web-developer to keep up with all these changes! So if you know of any updates please be so kind as to e-mail me, I'll change the page as soon as I can!

Muchos Gracias, Merci Beaucoup.

Direct-Entry Route

There are no direct-entry midwifery schools located in California. There are several programs that have been approved by The Medical Board of California. Graduates from one of these accredited programs may take the midwifery licensing examination offered by the Medical Board. Please contact Midwifery Education Accredidation Council for a listing of California approved programs. Also, midwifery licenses obtained in Washington and Florida are reciprocal with California.

Florida School of Traditional Midwifery
Contact: Jana Borino
PO Box 5505
Gainseville, FL 32602-5505

Clinical skills taught as well as academic preparation. Three tracks available:

  1. Three year academic program for those without nursing background.
  2. Modified program for Registered Nurses.
  3. 1-year Midwifery Assistant Program.

Students of all three programs eligible to become certified as Childbirth Educators through the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Clinical sites throughout Fla. including home, hospital, clinics and birth centers. Prepares students to take Fla. Midwifery Licensing Exam. Florida licenses are reciprocal in California.

Miami Dade Community College
Midwifery Sciences Department
Attn; Justine clegg
950 NW 20th Street
Miami, FL 33127-4693
Miami Dade Community College Midwifery Program

2 year program with 1 year pre-requisites. Earn Associates degree in Midwfery Sciences. Classroom and clinical experiences incorporate core competencies set forth by ACNM and MANA. School acknowledges the validity of apprentceship as the original model for training midwives. Graduates may sit North American Registry of Midwives National Certification (NARM), to become licensed in FL. Florida licenses are reciprocal in California. Financial aid available. Florida licensed midwives may practice in all other states where direct-entry midwifery licensure is available, with the exception of New York State. Contact the midiwfery organization in your state for procedure. Accelerated program for experienced midwives available.


Iowa School of Classical Midwifery
Contact: Molly Rybak, DHom, CPM, Director
P.O. Box 614
Kalona, Iowa 52247
(319) 656-3962

The Iowa School of Classical Midwifery is an unaccredited, three-year direct-entry program for students living in Iowa. Formal study in all areas of classical midwifery, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, waterbirth, and more are combined with the practice of clinical skills. Students are encouraged to work toward the CPM credential. Internship available in a Russian hospital. (see international study, below).

New Mexico
Northern New Mexico College of Midwifery
and National College of Midwifery

Drawer SSS
Taos, NM 87571

Clinical and academic preparation. From-a-distance learning also available with self-paced academic study and approved local midwife-preceptor for clinical skill development. The National College of Midwifery grants Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees in midwifery.

New York
State University of New York
Health Science Center at Brooklyn

450 Clarkson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11203

This is the only ACNM-approved direct-entry midwifery training program, and the only one of it's kind in the U.S. The one-year program is designed to prepare non-nurses and nurses to become Certified Midwives and Certified Nurse-Midwives who are prepared for the profession under the ACNM guidelines and standards. CNM and CM students in the program are integrated. Graduates from the CM program will be eligible to sit the ACNM certifying exam and apply for licensure to practice midwifery in the state of New York. New York does not grant reciprocity by any other state. CNMs may practice in all 50 states. Currently, CMs may only practice legally in New York State.

Oregon School of Midwifery
Contact: Daphne Singingtree, LM,CPM, Executive Director
342 E. 12th
931 River Road
Eugene, OR 97404

Comprehensive, accessible, direct-entry midwifery education. Excellent faculty. Holistic focus. 3 year program, clinical and academic components, MEAC accredited. Can sit for OR licensing upon completion.

Birthingway Midwifery School
Contact: Holly Scholles
12113 S.E Foster Rd.
Portland, OR 97266
503- 706-3131

3-year traditional midwifery model; balance of textbook with empirical knowledge and clinical skills, emphasizes low-tech and "hand skills", cultivates respect for physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of birth. Can sit for OR license upon completion. Washington state accreditation pending.

The Wholistic Midwifery Institute
128 N. 7th St
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

"The Holistic Midwifery Institute offers classroom-based learning experience within the full-scope of homebirth midwifery practice." The institute specalizes and provides training in the use of holistic modalities such as homeopathy, herbology, yoga, crainial/sacral techniques etc. "Midwives are understood to be 'partners in care' with the women and families they serve and a philosophy of informed consent is emphasized". Classes are taught by two midwives with 20 years experience. Midwifery intensives, midwifery basics, clinical skills, introduction to holistic modalities, childbirth preparation series and more are offered. (Quoted from Paths to Becoming A Midwife, a book edited and published by Midwifery Today)

The Farm Midwifery Workshops
Contact: Pamela Hunt
42 The Farm
Summertown, TN 38483
Web: Midwifery

The Farm Midwives wrote about their homebirth practice in the natural childbirth classic, "Spiritual Midwifery". The Farm Midwives offer midwifery assistant training workshops (beggining, intermediate and advanced) and host an annual conference. Enjoy the swimming hole, a walk in the woods and vegan meals between worksop sessions.

The Tennessee BirthPlace and School of Midwifery
420 S. Water
Gallatin, TN 37066

Workshops in advanced midwifery skills, 7 day course in begining midwifery skills, 1 year course for apprentices, certificate of completion, and NARM skills.

Casa de Nacimento
1511 E. Missouri
El Paso, TX 79902

Clinical opportunity for student midwives. See about 100 women in prenatal visits weekly, with 30-50 babies delivered per month. Spanish-speaking clientele; clinic/birth center setting. Interns will learn clinical skills including as risk assesment and prenatal care. Internships under supervision of Licensed Midwives. Two interns accepted every 6 weeks, with four interns at any one time. Interns live in dormitories on site with other interns. Shorter programs for those with more experience available, as well as split programs with time in between to balance family responsibilities. Preparation for licensing in TX. Transportation not necessary.

Maternidad de Luz
1308 Magoffin
El Paso, TX 79901

Clinical experience for student midwives. Students work rotating clinic schedule, interning for over 100 clinical hours, academic classes held three times a week for three hours. Birth center sees 400 women per year. Spanish speaking clientele. Students learn midwifery skills under supervision of Licensed Midwives. Preparation for licensing in TX. Live off site. Must have own car.

Austin Area Birthing Center
8500 N. Mopac, Suite 502
Austin, TX 78759-8347

In this birth center, apprentices get one-on-one, hands-on training under supervision of experienced midwife. Designed for student who has academics under her belt, and has taken part in a number of births. "This is an opportunity for a student midwife to be primary at births and gain the experience needed for independent practice" . (Quoted from Paths to Becoming A Midwife, a book edited and published by Midwifery Today.)

National Midwifery Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 128
Bristol, VT 05443
802-453-3332 in Vermont, or 415/248-1671 in California
E-mail: [email protected]

MEAC-accredited program preparing students for state licensure and/or NARM Certification. Correspondence course work allows students to study from their own community, local apprenticeship needed for clinical experience. Approved by the California Medical Board as a midwifery educational program.

North East College of Healing Arts and Science
PO Box 204
Bellows., VT 05101

3 year undergraduate and graduate diplomas in Traditional Midwifery. The programs are designed to give students a traditional apprenticeship approach to learning midwifery. Also 2 & 4 year programs in herbology and homeopathy.

Seattle Midwifery School
2524 16th Ave. South, Room 300
Seattle, WA 98144-5104
or 800-747-9433 fax 206-328-2840


This is the oldest direct-entry midwifery training program in the U.S. A 27 month program; includes academic and clinical preparation. Emphasis on out of hospital midwifery, but students have opportunity to learn from nurse-midwives and doctors in institutional settings also. Nationally accredited by Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training; and is recognized as an approved school for foreign students. Federal financial aid is available. Now offering a -at- a -distance learning program. Satellite school in New England. Washington licenses are reciprocal in California, and California licenses are recognized in Washington.

This is by no means a complete list of foriegn midwifery training programs. These are a few of the U.S. based programs which offer study in foreign countries.
Iowa School of Classical Midwifery
The Russian Birth Project
Contact: Molly Rybak, DHom, CPM, Director
P.O. Box 614
Kalona, Iowa 52247
(319) 656-3962
The Iowa School of Classical Midwifery and The Russian Birth Project are sister organizations which provide comprehensive training in classical midwifery. Classical midwifery was developed in the 18th century in Russia and Europe as the first lying-in hospitals were built. Founded in 1992, The Russian Birth Project is a not-for-profit educational and charitable organization which offers intensive midwifery internships in a Russian maternity hospital in St. Petersburg. Students may enroll in The Russian Birth Project independently of the Iowa School of Classical Midwifery.
Contact: Jennifer Houston
7907 NW 53rd St., Suite 409
Miami, FL 33166

"Blending the art of midwifery with medical resources as appropriate", this program is designed for those with previous schooling, and is an affordable training in Antigua, Guatemala. Clinical site is affiliated with local hospital and midwives work in cooperation with local doctors, while remaining autonomous. Includes room and board, includes 4 hours a day in Spanish.

International School of Midwifery
Contact: Marguerite Epstien or Shari Rosenbaum
711 S. Rue Notre Dame
Miami Beach, FL 33141

3 yr DEM program, 2 yr. nurse program, earn Associates degree. Incorporated core competencies of MANA and CNM into curriculum and has met curriculum frame work of Fl. Dept. of Ed. Clinical site in Jamaican hospital.
Ancient Art Midwifery Institute
(Formerly Apprentice Academics Midwifery Home Study Course)
Contact: Carla Hartley, Director
Box 788
Claremore, OK 74018-0788

Very throrough and challenging 3 or 4 year self-paced study and research of the academics of midwifery. Excellent preparation for apprenticeship, or written portion of state licensing or national certification exams. However, student midwives will still need to obtain clinical experience through apprenticeship or clinical setting, and must be very self-discliplined to pace themselves through this rigorous academic program.

Nurse-Midwifery Route

For a complete list of Nurse-Midwifery Programs throughout the country, contact American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

University of Southern California
(Certificate Program)
Nurse-Midwifery Education Program
Women's Hospital, Room 8K5
1240 N. Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Program Director: Susan Huser, CNM, MS
(MSN option available from USC School of Nursing)

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
(Certificate Program)
Nurse-Midwifery Education Program
College of Allied Health Sciences
1621 East 120th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Program Director: Gwendolyn Spears, CNM, MSN

University of California-Irvine/UCLA
(Master's Program)
Nurse Midwifery Program
UCI Birthing Center
W. Cerritos Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92805

University of California -San Diego
(Master's program)
UCSF/UCSD Intercampus Graduate Studies
Nurse-Midwifery Program
La Jolla, CA 92093

(Master's Program)
School of Nursing
Nurse-Midwifery Education
Box 956919
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6919
Director: Susan Ludington, CNM, Ph.D.

University of California - San Francisco
(Masters Program)
Dept. of Family Health Care Nursing
N411X, Box 0606
San Francisco, CA 94143-0606
Director: Jeanne DeJoseph, CNM, Ph.D.

UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital
Inter-departmental Nurse-Midwifery Program
General Hospital,
Ward 6-D, Room 24
1001 Potrero Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Director: Linda Ennis, CNM, MS

Education Program Associates
(Certificate Program)
Midwifery Education Program
West Campbell Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
Program Director: Catherine Carr, CNM, MSN, Dr. P.H.

Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing
Community-Based Nurse-Midwifery
Education Program (accredited by ACNM)
Wendover, KY 41775

Academic and Clinical Program in Nurse-Midwifery. For registered nurses only, who have Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. Self-paced learning from a distance via modem. Preceptor with a CNM and clinical training site can be established locally. Eligible to take ACNM certifying exam. Once passed, can practice legally in all 50 states as a CNM.

Boston University School of Public Health Nurse-Midwifery Education Program
715 Albany St.
Boston, MA 02118

This program is the first U.S. midwifery program in a school of public health. In the first year, students obtain public health degree. In the second year, obtain nurse-midwifery certification. Students must have a commitment to serve under-served, rural or other needy population.

Case-Western Reserve University Nurse Midwifery Program
10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106-4904
800-825-2540, ext. 2529

ND, CNM/MSN degrees available. Can become an RN on the way to becoming a CNM. Can enter with non-nursing background. Connected Frontier Nursing Service's Community Nurse Education Program.

The Certified Midwife

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) established a third option for aspiring midwives: The Certified Midwife (CM). Certified Midwives are individuals who have or receive a background in a health related field other than nursing and graduate from a midwifery education program accredited by the ACNM department of accrediadation. Graduates of an ACNM accredited midwifery education program take the same national certification examination as CNMs but receive the professional designation of Certified Midwife. CMs must attend a university-based program to become educated in the same core competencies for basic practice as CNMs, and practice in accord with the same standards for practice, philosophy, and code of ethics as nurse-midwives. Certified Midwives are relatively new professionals to the health care field but their education closely mirrors the education for certified nurse-midwives. The mechanisms to educate and credential CMs were approved in 1994. CMs are not registered nurses (RNs), but may hold other professional designations as health care providers such as a physician assistant or physical therapist. Individuals choosing this career path will likely be pioneers in the profession, much like the early nurse-midwives who practiced in the U.S. Certified midwives are individuals who have or receive a background in a health related field other than nursing and graduate from a midwifery education program accredited by the ACNM DOA. Graduates of an ACNM accredited midwifery education program take the same national certification examination as CNMs but receive the professional designation of Certified Midwife.

As of 2000, New York is the only state which recognizes the Certified Midwife credential or offers an educational program to become a Certified Midwife, although universities outside of New York state offering nurse-midwifery education may add this option to their programs of study in the years to come. Contact the ACNM for updates at

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