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A Profile of Vanderbilt’s Nurse-Midwives, Their Practice and Role in Medical Education

December 5, 2009

I believe I have mentioned Vanderbilt’s Nurse-Midwives previously; the current issue of Vanderbilt Magazine has an excellent profile of their practice; I learned some things about their work despite being already somewhat familiar with them and Vanderbilt being my larger workplace.

I was already aware that, in addition to the respected CNM education program in the School of Nursing, these CNMs provide outpatient women’s health services and attend births in the hospital. The don’t do home births, but they allow VBACs and take a low-intervention approach to birth. According to the piece, “Every year nearly 3,000 babies are born at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Today about one-fourth are delivered by certified nurse-midwives, who have delivered about 4,500 babies since the program began in 1995.”

I was not, however, aware of the work these CNMs are doing in Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine:

In the Division of Midwifery and Advanced Practice (MWAP), experienced nurse-midwives serve on the faculty, teaching obstetrics residents how to manage and deliver babies to low-risk mothers. MWAP is the first School of Medicine division completely staffed by non-physicians.

Cool. The full article gives more detail about each of these programs, the CNMs’ approach to pregnancy and labor, health care reform, and the differences in cost between different choices and approaches to labor.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2009 7:59 am

    The key is ‘low risk births’ apparently. Sorry, I’m still a little bitter about how they dropped us when we found out my wife was expecting twins.

    They’re good people over there. My wife goes to the midwives for her annual checkups now. If I recall correctly they have a clinic or two in low-income parts of town.

    • December 9, 2009 7:58 am

      I can see why that would be upsetting; I wonder if they would ever adapt that policy to a more wait-and-see type approach…

  2. MomTFH permalink
    December 8, 2009 2:41 pm

    Most of the students at my medical school work with CNMs during their obstetrics month. In fact, most of our rotation sites have CNMs managing most low risk vaginal deliveries.


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