Nurse midwifery program soars through reaccreditation process

By By Marjorie Mackey

By Marjorie Mackey

The U’s Graduate Nurse Midwifery Program recently gained 10-year reaccreditation from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

After a thorough evaluation, the program received the maximum time frame allotted for accreditation-10 years.

“We’re very pleased,” said Jane Dyer, who oversees the nurse midwifery program.

Accreditation is essential for students in the program to fulfill the necessary requirements to pursue careers as midwives.

“(Accreditation) not only allows us to take our boards, but it?shows what a great program it is,” said Jeanine Patterson, a graduate student in the program studying midwifery and women’s health. “I love (the program). The instructors are fabulous. It’s very difficult, I have to say, but it’s been a good challenge.”

As part of the accreditation process, program management was required to send in an evaluation to the College of Nurse-Midwives for review, followed by a visit from the board in which “students, faculty, administration, facilities and resources were all taken into consideration,” Dyer said.

“It’s a very rigorous process to go through accreditation. We have to meet high standards and prove and document that we meet these standards,” Dyer said.

“We breezed through it?the team was very impressed with the program. They were thrilled,” Patterson said.

The U’s two-year program-one of 43 midwife programs in the country-began in 1965, and all members are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Today, the program has 360 national and international graduates. It prepares students to work as nurse midwives by providing them with individual experience “within five off-campus sites and within the community,” Dyer said.

“Nurse midwives treat people as healthy people,” Dyer said.

Nurse midwives typically work in hospitals, but many work in birth centers and homes.

There are currently about 6,200 certified nurse midwives in practice today, according to ACNM statistics.