Nursing Midwifery Program Specifics

Advanced Practice Nursing Master’s Degree

                Nurse-Midwifery (49 credits)


The Marquette University Nurse-Midwifery Program (NMP) is designed to prepare scholarly, clinically specialized nurses who will function at an advanced level of practice as nurse- midwives. Graduates will be prepared for independent management of newborns and women during the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods, and for primary care throughout the life span. Nurse-midwifery practice occurs within the context of an interdependent collaborative health care system.

The Marquette NMP is a hybrid-online program that combines the best of both campus and online learning. Living within driving distance of the Marquette campus located in Milwaukee, WI is required, although a variety of clinical placements are available throughout the state of Wisconsin.

The Marquette University Nurse-Midwifery Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 240-485-1802, The program was reaccredited in 2019 for the maximum period of 10 years, and is currently accredited until 2029.

Upon successful completion of the program, demonstrating all the professional core competencies, the graduate will be academically eligible to take the national certification examination of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) [849 International Drive, Suite 120, Linthicum, MD 21090, Tel: (866) 366-9632]. In 2018 there were 23 enrolled (new and continuing) midwifery students. In 2018, there were 8 full time students who graduated from the Marquette University, College of Nursing Midwifery program. AMCB Annual Reports are available online




First Time AMCB Pass Rate

Retake AMCB Pass Rate














General Information

There are two major sources of information available online about the academic programs and policies that affect the NMP. One is the university’s Graduate Bulletin and the other is the College of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook Both sources provide important information when considering the NMP and when students are progressing from admission through graduation. Marquette University Graduate School demographics from Fall 2018 are found at the following link,, although within nursing generally there are fewer males and international students represented.

It is critical to review the application requirements closely. There are unique requirements for individuals who have BSN degrees and are entering the MSN Program and for those who do not hold a nursing degree but have completed bachelor’s degrees in other fields (MSN Program for Non-Nursing Graduates, also called Direct Entry Masters Program) at

The online application form to be used is available through the Graduate School, but is also linked on the Graduate Nursing webpage

The Nurse-Midwifery Program has two annual admission pools. Most students should consider the Feb 15 application deadline for fall admission. Applications are due by November 15 for Spring admission.  annually The Nurse-Midwifery Program clinical sequence is a fall start.

Additional specific information about the NMP is included below. The Curriculum and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are presented below. You may also contact Karen Nest, Graduate Program Assistant, for specific questions about the application process, admission requirements, or to request an information packet. For general information about the nurse-midwifery profession and education, contact the American College of Nurse-Midwives After reviewing these resources, if you have questions remaining, you may contact Dr. Lisa Hanson, CNM, Professor, Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program (414) 288-3841 or



The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in the NMP option requires a total of 49 credit hours of course work, which may be completed on a combined part-time and full- time basis. There are three broad categories of courses, which are 3 credits each unless otherwise noted.


Core Courses – 12 credits

Nurs 6000 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

Nurs 6007 Ethics, Policy, & Health Care Advocacy

Nurs 6009 Organizational & Systems Leadership

Nurs 6010 Research & Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing


Foundation Courses – 12 credits

Nurs 6030 Pathophysiological Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice a

Nurs 6032 Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice a

Nurs 6035 Advanced Health Assessment a

Nurs 6037 Management of Episodic Health Problems a


Nurse-Midwifery Program Specialty Courses – 26-28 credits a,b


Nurs 6740 Advanced Concepts in Women’s Health Care Management across the Life Span a,b

Nurs 6742 Advanced Concepts in Antepartum Management a,b

Nurs 6744 Advanced Concepts in Postpartum and Newborn Management a,b

Nurs 6746 Professional Issues in APN/DNP Practice a

Nurs 6751 Advanced Concepts in Labor Support [1-3 abc credits]

Nurs 6752 Nurse-Midwifery Care During Labor and Birth a,b [5 credits]

Nurs 6753 Advanced Practicum in Nurse-Midwifery a,b [7 credits]  


  1. Post Master’s courses, if no previous course equivalent
  2. Includes practicum
  3. All SNMs take this course for one credit. Students who do not have Labor and Delivery experience as a RN, need to take two additional credits for clinical

The bases of the NMP curriculum are its philosophy, purpose/mission, and learning outcomes/objectives. These are congruent with the online statements of the university and the college


Nurse-Midwifery Program Philosophy

The Jesuit ideal of cura personalis is actualized through the belief that all humans have worth and dignity, with inalienable rights to health care, self-determination, and information regarding all aspects of care. Women throughout their lives experience physiologic changes that are influenced by psychological, sociological, biological and spiritual factors, all of which impact the optimal state of health of the individual and the family. The science and art of nurse-midwifery are grounded in client centered and directed practice, and embodied in the provision of safe, satisfying, culturally competent care. Such practice enables and empowers clients and nurse-midwives in the creation of and participation in their care. Truth is pursued through excellence and innovation in nurse- midwifery education, practice and scholarship, the promotion of professional standards, and collaboration with members of other disciplines. Nurse-midwifery education is characterized by the acquisition of analytical skills necessary for the discovery, synthesis and application of knowledge to this specialized practice, which focuses upon health promotion and education of the childbearing family and of women throughout the life span.


Nurse-Midwifery Program Purpose/Mission

The purpose of the Advanced Practice Nursing: Nurse-midwifery option of the Master of Science in Nursing program at Marquette University is to prepare scholarly, clinically specialized nurses who will function at an advanced level of practice as a nurse-midwife. The graduate will be prepared for midwifery management of women during the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum periods (including newborn care) and for primary and gynecologic care. Nurse-midwifery practice occurs within the context of an interdependent collaborative health care system. Upon completion of the program the graduate will be academically eligible to take the national Certification Examination of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

Comparison of Nurse-Midwifery Learning Outcomes and MSN Graduate Program Outcome and Performance Indicators:

Nurse-Midwifery Program Learning Outcomes/Objectives:

MSN Graduate Program Outcome and Performance Indicators:

Upon completion of the course of study, the student is expected to do the following:

At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

1.   Demonstrate competent beginning practice of nurse midwifery as a primary provider of care to child-bearing families and women in transition throughout the life span.

Use data and analytical processes to discover, critique, and/or synthesize nursing knowledge for the continued improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.

2.   Utilize critical thinking to incorporate research, theories, knowledge, and skills into nurse midwifery practice.

Integrate pertinent theories, research and other evidence, as well as patient and population perspectives to guide master’s level nursing practice.

3.   Provide culturally competent care that addresses the ethical, legal, political, social, and moral issues affecting those in need of nurse midwifery care.

Provide culturally appropriate evidence
based clinical prevention and population health to individuals, families and aggregates.

4.   Provide leadership to promote intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration to meet the needs of childbearing families and women throughout the life span.

Demonstrate leadership in ethical and
clinical decision making using a system’s perspective.


Initiate, maintain, and promote intra-and interprofessional collaboration.

5.   Contribute to the advancement of nursing and nurse-midwifery through awareness and involvement in factors affecting health policy, professional education, and the health care delivery system.

Effectively use varied modes of communication, informatics and technology to promote safe and high-quality patient care.

6.   Manifest the principle of cura personalis (care and respect for the individual) in implementing humanistic models of caring for the childbearing family and women through the life span.

Use data and analytical processes to discover, critique, and/or synthesize nursing knowledge for the continued improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.


Demonstrate leadership in ethical and clinical decision making using a system’s perspective.


Note:  Several graduate learning outcomes are represented in multiple Nurse-Midwifery Program Learning Outcomes/Objectives


Nurse-Midwifery Program Frequently Asked Questions

I think I want to be a nurse-midwife. How can I be sure that’s the right field for me? We suggest you start by exploring the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ web site If there are certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) in your area, we recommend you contact them and seek an opportunity to observe (“shadow”) them in practice. Nurse- midwives have the satisfaction of caring for women throughout the lifespan and are considered specialists in women’s health and fostering normal birth.  Midwifery often requires long, irregular hours of work, but it can be a very fulfilling career. Becoming a nurse-midwife requires academic ability in both the sciences and ‘people-oriented’ subjects.  It takes determination to complete the rigorous program of study.

If you wish to meet the nurse-midwifery faculty to discuss the profession further, they generally hold an open house in the afternoon of the first Monday in December. If you wish to be invited, you will need to send an e-mail to Dr. Karen Robinson, CNM,

Remember to include all your contact information.

How do I apply?

Application information is available at the following website:

What academic background do I need for the Nurse-Midwifery Program?

Everyone entering the nurse-midwifery program must be a nurse. However, there are unique requirements for those entering the MSN program with BSN degrees and those who have completed bachelor’s degrees in other fields  but need to become nurses (MSN Program for Non-Nursing Graduates, also called Direct Entry/GEM).They are explained on the College of Nursing website under Academic Programs and Graduate school admission requirements for the Nursing MSN programs are also explained on the following website:

Do I need to be a licensed RN before applying to the Nurse-Midwifery Program?

If you are in your last year of nursing school, have recently graduated, or are in the Direct Entry program, you may apply now. It is possible to be admitted to the program contingent on passing the NCLEX-RN licensing examination, for which you will need to provide proper documentation of your success before actually beginning the NMP courses. A Wisconsin nursing license is required.

I will have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree by the end of summer, but I won’t have taken one of the three prerequisite courses, Physical Assessment, Nursing Research, and  Statistics, including Inferential, by that time. Could I apply anyway, and take my last prerequisite class during my rst semester at Marquette?

If you have not completed all your prerequisites, you will have to be admitted on a contingent basis until you have successfully completed the needed course and submitted the official transcript. There is little time to take additional courses during the program, which is quite intense and demanding.

I have earned a master’s degree in Nursing already. Can I do a post-masters program in Midwifery?

Yes. The actual number of classes you take will depend on what courses were included in your master’s program. Plan to discuss this with the Nurse-Midwifery Program Director, Lisa Hanson, PhD, CNM, FACNM, around the time of your admission interview,  bringing your transcript(s) and course descriptions. Your program plan will be individualized including planning for transfer or waiving of select credits upon review. Upon program competition you will receive a post-master’s certificate in nurse-midwifery.

I am an international student. Do I need to demonstrate my proficiency in English?

Yes. Beyond Wisconsin licensure, there are other requirements. For more information, please refer to Marquette University’s Graduate School web site on the topic:

Do I need work experience as a registered nurse to qualify for the Nurse-Midwifery Program?

It is recommended, but not required, that you have at least one year of maternal- child health related nursing experience. When we admit program candidates who do not have this experience, we encourage them to seek employment as RNs in labor and

delivery settings as soon as possible. This allows them to gain essential experience while they are students in our program. If students do not obtain employment in Labor and Delivery, they will be required to take a clinically Summer course NURS 6751 for up to 2 credits that provides basic intrapartum knowledge and nursing related skill development. These two credits are in addition to the 1 credit theory portion of this course (Advanced Concepts in Labor Support) that all Midwifery students take.

I won’t have time to apply for the Midwifery Program starting this fall.  Could I apply to Marquette as a non-degree student, take Master of Science in Nursing core courses now, and apply for the Midwifery Program for the following year?

It may not be to your advantage to take many courses before being admitted. Taking courses as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission. You need to go through the whole admission process to become eligible for the specialty classes and clinical work. The University also discourages earning many credits non-degree because it does not guarantee you can apply them to a degree program later. In fact, transferring in credits to the program is limited, as described in the Graduate Bulletin in the alphabetically listed transfer of credit policy and in the non-degree status description

I live far from Milwaukee. How much of the coursework is online?

The Nurse-Midwifery Program is hybrid-online. This means that each of the midwifery specialty courses includes both in-class and asynchronous internet-based interactions among faculty and students. The Midwifery courses are scheduled on campus 4-8 times a semester, depending on the course. There are also many clinical hours that occur in the mixed didactic and practicum courses in the NMP. Generally, the nurse-midwifery specialty coursework is completed on-line on a weekly basis, with required readings accessible through the Raynor Library website. The Marquette library online feature of Class Reserves helps to make many readings readily accessible to students at their convenience and without extra charge. Marquette's e-Learning application is Desire2Learn (D2L), a web-based tool which facilitates and supports online education. On-line learning software allows you to remain at home, access course materials, and interact with your classmates and professors via web-based classroom discussions in an easy to use format. The Nurse-Midwifery Program also includes 8 core and foundational MSN courses and 6 nurse-midwifery specialty courses. Some of the core and foundational courses are also hybrid online. Each course at Marquette has its own D2L course site with facilities for interactive communication, secure submission of student assignments to faculty. Easy reference to all their course materials is a common positive expressed by students when working online.

Tell me more about Class Schedules

Students need to plan to come to the Marquette campus several days per week and also be available for significant clinical time that increases progressively throughout the final two years of the program. We attempt to cluster days that SNMs need to be on campus when possible.

Where do students do their Nurse-Midwifery Program clinicals?

Marquette faculty arrange the clinicals for the students in our program. Nurse-midwifery students generally do clinical work at various nurse-midwifery practices throughout Wisconsin. While some student nurse-midwives (SNMs) do part of their clinical training in the Milwaukee area or near their homes, all students should plan on traveling to gain clinical experiences during the course of the program. Participating in clinical in a variety of settings enables our students to gain exposure to rich learning experiences. Our wide geographic network of clinical settings and our online coursework offerings make distance learning possible for students. We schedule clinical practica with consideration of SNMs’ competencies, class requirements, the unique characteristics of each nurse-midwifery service, and preceptor faculty time availability. Travel to clinical sites is at the student’s expense, but it is possible to work with the Program Director [] to attempt to schedule some clinical time near family or friends when possible.

How long is the Nurse-Midwifery Program?

The NMP contains 49 total credits. Marquette defines full time attendance as a minimum of 7 graduate credits per semester. A three-year plan, is considered optimal & is shown in the sample plan below. The Nurse-Midwifery clinical courses occur in a set sequence in the final two years of the program. You may spread the pre-clinical courses over two (part-time) or even more years.  However, during the final program year, you would need to attend full-time to complete your studies, due to significant clinical time required. Therefore, it is important for you to consider all aspects of your life, including work and family, when making the decision to attend the program. Similarly, know that your admission offer guarantees you a place in the clinical sequence for a particular class cohort and that the CNM faculty monitor this closely.

How many students are accepted annually in the Nurse-Midwifery Program?

Class size can become a limiting factor in the number of admissions each year. Altering your program plan may result in you moving to a different class cohort for the clinical course sequence. If one clinical class is full, we will work with you to see if you can be admitted into the clinical sequence beginning the next year. However, there is no way to predict future class sizes and it is possible that changing your plan & clinical sequence could necessitate that you need to delay until there is an opening for you in the clinical sequence of courses. Therefore, plan carefully about when you wish to begin and finish the program to stay on track. Always discuss any possible alterations in your official program plan with the Program Director [] because you can encounter progression difficulties.

What does a SAMPLE PROGRAM PLAN look like?

A sample plan is noted below and begins with some part-time course work that progresses to full-time. BSN admissions have a lighter Year 1 Fall to adjust to graduate school demands.

Direct entry/GEM admissions have several lighter semesters initially (generally 6 credits each) to facilitate finding, being oriented to, and working as an RN in related employment.

Year 1: Fall



Year 1: Spring


N6009  Organizational and        Systems Leadership



N6000  Theoretical Foundations of Nursing


N6035  Advanced Health               Assessment



N6010 Research & Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing





N6030  Pathophysiological         Concepts for Advanced               Nursing Practice







Year 2: Fall



Year 2: Spring


N6032  Pharmacology for               Advanced Nursing               Practice


N6751 Advanced Concepts in Labor Support 1 (+2)*

N6742 Advanced Concepts in Antepartum Management


N6037  Management of Episodic Health Problems



N6746  Professional Issues in  APN/DNP Practice


N6740  Advanced Concepts in Women’s Health across the Life Span



N6007 Ethics, Policy, and Health Care Advocacy






  9 **

Year 3: Fall



Year 3: Spring


N6744  Advanced Concepts in Postpartum & Newborn  Management



N6753  Advanced Practicum in Nurse-Midwifery


N6752  Nurse-Midwifery Care During Labor & Birth










Total credits in NMP = 49+

* Plus 2 credits extra in summer as needed for intrapartum preparation


What are financial considerations?

Graduate school is an important investment in your future career. The university sets & publishes in the Graduate Bulletin, available online, the tuition, fees, and relevant refunds at this direct link: The College of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook has additional health requirements and a background check; it is also available online.

Given the costs, it is important to consider how you will finance your degree program. Financial aid is available to eligible students. The Graduate Bulletin explains the options for assistance at the following link: The graduate nursing student financial assistance options are noted in the College of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook.. In addition, the midwifery professional organization, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) also has suggestions on financing your education at