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Care For Women Throughout Their Lives

Our mission is to prepare clinically, culturally and philosophically competent nurse midwives who provide excellent care to women, newborns, and families and are leaders in their communities. Vision: Our graduates are leaders and innovators who provide compassionate, evidence-based, woman-centered care that respects the dignity and wide range of individuals and communities.


Nurse Midwives provide primary health care to women across the lifespan. Other services include gynecologic and family planning, pregnancy and birthing services, and care for women after menopause. Nurse midwifery career options include independent full-scope practice in a variety of settings that may include outpatient women's health care clinics, hospitals, birth centers, and others.

As a doctoral student in the Nurse-Midwifery track, you will:

  • Participate in one of the top ten programs in the US and the oldest continually operating Nurse Midwifery track west of the Mississippi.
  • Develop skills to influence public policy through participation in professional organizations and health policy activities at the local, national, and global levels.
  • Take courses in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership.
  • Have the option to complete dual Nurse Midwifery and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) specialties concurrently (extends plan of study by one semester).

While we do offer a distance option, our DNP program is not a fully online program. Our Nurse Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner tracks require a significant number of days on campus. The distance option often works best for students living in rural Utah or in nearby states who are within a reasonable driving distance of the University of Utah. On-campus requirements include the following:

  • Students attend 5 simulations in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th semesters in our state-of-the-art simulation center on campus. Simulations are required and in-person only.
  • Additionally, our program is partnered with a faculty practice of CNMs and WHNPs in the Salt Lake City area, and starting in the 3rd semester, most clinicals are completed with these preceptors. While distance students may complete some of their clinical shifts outside of our faculty practice, students should plan to complete at least the 3rd and 4th semesters of the program with this faculty practice to build a solid foundation. Most clinical courses require a minimum of 10 clinical shifts.

Program Objectives

To prepare nurse-midwives who will:

  • Integrate evidence-based care, principles and theory underlying advanced nurse midwifery management of the antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, gynecologic client, and common primary care problems.
  • Incorporate midwifery Core Competencies, as stated by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
  • Accurately perform advanced health assessment of women and promote high-level wellness of women across the lifespan, including childbearing.
  • Engage in a participative process of culturally sensitive care in which women are empowered to make decisions about their care and assume appropriate self-care activities.
  • Apply knowledge of pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapeutics of common medications used for the appropriate treatment of antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, primary care, and gynecologic clients, by competently prescribing appropriate pharmacologic agents.
  • Integrate principles and theory of nurse midwifery management of reproductive, childbearing, and gynecologic needs and complications through appropriate and timely consultation and referral.
  • Apply knowledge of screening and diagnostic testing judiciously for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, primary care, and gynecologic healthcare.
  • Provide leadership in development of health care policy and quality improvement at the local, state, and national level.
  • Contribute to evidence-based practice by implementing clinical research findings and participate in clinical research, when appropriate, to demonstrate improvements in practice and health care outcomes for women and families.

Certification Eligibility

Graduates are prepared to sit for national certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates are eligible to become certified or licensed to practice.

Contact Us

Shelley Kern, MPC
DNP Program Manager

Jessica Ellis, PhD, CNM
Specialty Track Director

Graduate Certificates


The Certified Nurse-Midwifery track of the DNP Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1230, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374; 240-485-1803;; For information about ACME’s accreditation, please contact ACME.