NMI Curriculum
National Instiyute of Midwifery
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National Midwifery Institute, Inc., 
Administration Office
P.O. Box 128
Bristol, VT 05443



Program Overview | About our Curriculum | Course Work

"The modules were excellent...they actually helped me get an apprenticeship
because my preceptor assumed I must be a serious student,
committed to midwifery as my path."

Program Overview
Our midwifery study and training program consists of a three part formula incorporating antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn and well-woman care, plus beginning, intermediate, and advanced practica. 

  1. Heart & Hands Course Work: completion of thirteen modules (beginning and advanced levels) requires approximately 810 hours of study;
  2. Study Group Course Work: completion of fifty-two modules requires approximately 1080 hours of study; and
  3. Supervised apprenticeship providing clinical experience meeting the requirements of North American Registry of Midwives’ Certified Professional Midwife (NARM CPM) credential and California Midwifery Practice Act.

About our Curriculum
Based on MANA Core Competencies, the North American Registry of Midwives qualifications for the Certified Professional Midwife credential, and requirements stated in California Midwifery Practice Act, our curriculum provides preparation in the following areas:

  • The art and science of midwifery...including but not limited to prenatal, labor and delivery, neonatal well care and postpartum care;
  • Communication skills;
  • Anatomy and physiology, genetics, obstetrics and gynecology, embryology and fetal development, neonatology, applied microbiology, chemistry, child growth and development, pharmacology, nutrition, laboratory diagnostic tests and procedures, and physical assessment;
  • Concepts in psychosocial, emotional and cultural aspects of maternal and child care, human sexuality, counseling and teaching, maternal and infant and family bonding process, breastfeeding, family planning principles of preventative health and community health;
  • Aspects of normal pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum period, newborn care, family planning or routine gynecological care in alternative birth centers, homes and hospitals;
  • Midwifery process, including interventive skills in preventative, remedial and supportive midwifery; development of collegial relationships with health care providers from other disciplines; and behavioral and social sciences;
  • Personal hygiene, client abuse, cultural diversity, and the legal, social and ethical aspects of midwifery; and
  • Midwifery management process.

Foundation curricula such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry, genetics, embryology, applied microbiology, child growth and development, nutrition and required social sciences are woven throughout program course work.

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Course Work - Part I | Part II

Course Work Part I
Heart & Hands Course Work
provides the foundation to the NMI midwifery curriculum. 

Heart & Hands Midwifery Intensives have long been the starting point of instruction for aspiring midwives in the San Francisco Bay Area. As women in other areas began to express interest in the class, Heart & Hands was adapted to a modular course work format so that students could have access to this material regardless of their location.

Thirteen modules (ten beginning and three advanced - see below for details), incorporate didactic material and many activities for hands-on learning. Course materials are designed to accommodate students at various levels of sophistication. Beginners are always welcome! Heart & Hands Course Content includes:

  • History and Politics of Midwifery
  • Prenatal Care and Complications
  • Counseling and Communication Skills
  • Sexuality in the Childbearing Cycle
  • Facilitating Labor and Assisting Delivery
  • Labor Complications and Transport
  • Perineal Assessment and Repair
  • Newborn Complications and Neonatal Testing
  • Postpartum Care, Breastfeeding and Maternal Adjustment
  • Well-woman Care Throughout the Lifecycle
  • Venipuncture and Lab Work
  • Homeopathy and Herbs in Pregnancy and Birth

Heart & Hands Course Work is available to students prior to (and regardless of) enrollment in NMI, in keeping with our belief that detailed information on birth, women's health and midwifery should be available to anyone interested in exploring these areas.

"Personally, I loved the essay questions because they challenged me to express my own ideas and opinions on case studies.
This practice in critical thinking really helped prepare
me for real life midwifery situations."

More about Heart & Hands Coursework
Heart & Hands Midwifery Intensives were originally founded by Elizabeth Davis in 1982. The class was developed at the request of a group of birth assistants seeking to acquire practical midwifery skills. Over the years and by demand, the class evolved to include basic introductory information and emphasis on the intuitive, interpersonal skills essential to effective midwifery care.

While Heart & Hands Course Work is part of the curriculum of National Midwifery Institute, Inc., Heart & Hands Midwifery Intensives class remains freestanding and avocational. Intensives students wishing to enroll in NMI should consult with the instructor regarding additional requirements for Heart & Hands Course Work completion. To learn more about Heart & Hands Intensives, visit the website at ElizabethDavis.com

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Course Work Part II
As a follow-up to Heart & Hands Course Work, Study Group Course Work is intended to help students integrate didactic learning with clinical experiences in apprenticeship.

Study Group Course Work is comprised of fifty-two modules, each module demanding focus on a particular topic and its context.

Completion of modules requires approximately 1080 hours of study. When Study Group Course Work is completed during apprenticeship, many students spread their work over twelve or more months. With a focus on integration of clinical and didactic knowledge, students set their own pace. There is no penalty for completing modules in more or less calendar time. The modules may be approached in any order the student finds appropriate, and may reflect current issues in apprenticeship.

The modules are designed to stimulate the self-motivation and passion for learning that are the hallmarks of the midwifery profession.

While Study Group modules are well suited to independent study, students have the unique opportunity to organize facilitated discussions in their own communities. Following the experience of Study Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, practical written guidelines are provided for organizing local Study Group sessions with midwife facilitation. These student driven meetings may be reminiscent of a one room schoolhouse with students representing diverse levels of experience and expertise. Additional support is available by phone and email.

The modules encourage problem solving and differential diagnosis. After completing the course work I felt confident
and well prepared for the NARM exam.

Sample Module Topics
Breast Feeding
Breech and Twins
Cesarean and VBAC
Charting & Practice Guidelines
Diversity Awareness
Ectopic Pregnancy
Female Sexuality
Fertility and Conception
Fetal Heart Rate Patterns
Embryology & Fetal Development
Fetal/Newborn Circulation
First Stage
Gestational Diabetes
Genetic & Prenatal Screening
Pharmacology for Midwives
Homeopathic Remedies
Physical Assessment
Life Science
Postpartum Care
Physical and Sexual Abuse
OP, Brow & Face Presentations
Newborn Apnea, Hypoxia
Urinary Tract Infection
Respiratory Distress
Ruptured Membranes
Stillbirth and Miscarriage
Post Dates & Post Maturity
Prenatal Lab Work & Assessment
Postpartum Depression
Preterm Labor
Renal System
Second Stage
Shoulder Dystocia
Substance Abuse
Third Stage
Well Woman Care

More about Study Group
Study Group was initiated by Shannon Anton in 1994, in response to apprentice midwives in the San Francisco Bay Area who expressed a need for a midwife-facilitated group learning process.

Students who attended the first eighteen months of Study Group virtually defined the curriculum. Focus remained on the context of experiential learning which moved the group from topic to topic. Study Group modules were created using the living outline that this evolving group made manifest.

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Order the NMI Handbook, which includes complete information on the program and application forms. Simply print our order form, fill it out and mail it to the address on the form, along with your $15 check.  Please allow 7-10 working days to receive your handbook.

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© National Midwifery Institute, Inc. - 2012

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