Hello! I’m delighted that you’re considering nurse-midwifery education at Frontier Nursing University. Dating back to the work of Mary Breckinridge in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky in the 1920s, ours is a rich legacy of nurse-midwifery care of women, babies and families. Although some aspects of our work have changed in the last 90 years, the heart and spirit of midwifery care have not. At Frontier, we remain dedicated to preparing nurse-midwives to provide safe, satisfying, woman- and family-focused, evidence-based care. Midwifery care, midwifery students and Frontier Nursing University are my passions, and I would love to share those passions with you!
Tonya Nicholson, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE
Associate Dean for Midwifery and Women’s Health
What Is A Nurse-Midwife?
Nurse-midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. This means that nurse-midwives perform physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory tests as needed, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages. Women, children and families have better lives because of the work of nurse-midwives. The American College of Nurse-Midwives is the professional association that represents CNMs and CMs. (Source: ACNM Web site)
FNU's Community-Based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (CNEP)
The ‘heart’ of midwifery is really synonymous with ‘mothering’ – mothering with unconditional love. One of the best midwives I have known had never born a child but she was the role model of ‘mothering,’ not only for the mothers she cared for, but for the physicians and nurses, midwives and students with whom she worked. ... The heart of midwifery displayed by the individual midwives is that unconditional love of ‘mothering’ they bring to wherever they are caring.
FNU faculty member & 1952 graduate
In our Community-based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (CNEP), you will complete your studies either full-time or part-time with your home community serving as your classroom. You’ll also complete a clinical practicum in your community, where you’ll work closely with a certified nurse-midwife. FNU has agreements with preceptor sites across the country and continually adds sites.
Our curriculum has a strong academic and clinical basis. It is unique in that we teach you not only to be a nurse-midwife, but also to be an entrepreneur and a leader in maternal and infant health care. CNEP also has a strong primary care component, preparing you to care for women across the lifespan.
All students seeking to become a nurse-midwife will be admitted to the MSN + Companion DNP program. When you receive the Master of Science in Nursing degree, you may choose to either continue seamlessly into the 17 credit hour Companion DNP program or end your studies with the MSN. Completing the DNP is highly recommended. Learn about the MSN + Companion DNP here.
For applicants seeking MSN with option of Companion DNP:P:
- Registered Nurse with BSN as highest degree – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP
- Registered Nurse with highest degree as bachelor's in non-nursing field – apply to the MSN + Companion DNP (will include portfolio with application)
- Registered Nurse with ADN as highest degree – apply through the ADN Bridge Entry Option
For applicants who already have MSN or master's in nursing seeking an additional specialty certification (with option of Companion DNP):
Early CNEP graduates who wish to complete the MSN degree:
- Apply to the MSN Completion program
Early CNEP graduates interested in the Women's Health Completion Program:
- Apply to the MSN Completion program
Kathryn Schrag, a nurse-midwife and member of FNU’s clinical faculty, is a leader in the birth center field. Kathryn began her midwifery career at the first midwifery service in Tucson, Ariz., and a few years later co-founded the state’s first birth center. Since its inception in 1981, she has guided the development of the Birth and Women’s Health Center – which continues as one of the nation’s longest-running birth centers – into a nationally recognized model for birth center services and more than 10,000 births. Kathryn is a recipient of the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Regional Award for Excellence, The American Association of Birth Center’s (AABC) Professional Achievement Award, and has served on the AABC Board of Directors. She has taught the AABC’s “How to Start a Birth Center” workshop for years and brings a wealth of entrepreneurial and clinical expertise to her teaching at FNU.
“During my decades of midwifery practice, I have watched the concept of midwifery in a birth center setting evolve from being a new idea that simply made sense, to a model of care that is solidly backed by scientific evidence. In a time of uncertainty and change in our health care system, birth centers are now beautifully positioned to demonstrate how we can provide services in a safe and cost-effective manner, as well as empowering women and strengthening families. Our midwifery students at Frontier have the distinction of being the only students in the country who have in-depth education in the birth center model of care, and thus will be prepared to contribute to their growth.”
FNU graduate Rebecca Turecky attends births in rural Costa Rica. Before making Costa Rica her home, Rebecca, who has a background in women’s studies and alternative healing, worked in Europe and Africa promoting women’s health. Her U.S. nursing and midwifery degrees were validated by the Costa Rican College of Nurses, and, for more than 10 years, she has been the only nurse-midwife offering homebirth in Costa Rica. Since 1991, Rebecca has been involved in efforts to humanize childbirth in Costa Rica. She co-founded a non-profit called Asociacion Mamasol (www.mamasol.com) to educate and advocate for more humane care of childbearing women and their babies. “I drive through bumpy dirt roads, cross rivers and climb mountains out to isolated homes, sometimes without electricity. Whenever I feel myself get stressed, as I drive through a tropical rainstorm or thick mountain fog to reach a laboring woman, I think of Mary Breckinridge on her horse and remember that I am a Frontier Midwife!”
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