"I have been very happy with my experience with NMI. I would recommend the school to anyone interested in midwifery." ~ an NMI graduate

Philosophy and Purpose

“This course was one of birthing myself as a midwife... I remind myself that I am in the early stages of labor, and I must be patient and sensitive to tune in to the pace at which this birthing wants to happen.”

~ an NMI Student

We believe that the study of midwifery is a self-motivated and organic process, springing forth from the fertile ground of community and family. Just as there have always been and will always be birthing women and birthing people, so the midwife is called into practice. It is our experience that the midwifery model of care is best upheld by students who have trained in their own communities and have become an integral part of the local birth network by the time they are ready to work independently.

 We further believe that birth is a transformational process for everyone involved, with its own intrinsic value for personal growth and development. We support woman-centered and pregnant person-centered birth and seek to uphold the rights of women and pregnant people to define their needs and identify their support systems. While midwives set parameters of safety, it is birthing women and birthing people who, through the process of informed consent, make decisions regarding their care and the care of their babies.

It is our purpose to prepare midwives for the scope of practice outlined by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) core competencies, the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) certification guidelines, the California Midwifery licensing requirements as well as many other state licensure requirements, and International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) International Definition of the Midwife.


National Midwifery Institute was founded to preserve community-based midwifery education by developing curriculum that enhances and supports the apprenticeship model. It is our mission to foster the traditional midwifery learning cycle: knowledge being passed from person to person, experienced midwife to apprentice. We believe that client-centered practice springs from student-centered education, and maintain the critical importance of a program that midwifes students to know their strengths and weaknesses, believe in themselves, and be confident in their abilities. It is our mission to continually review and revise program structure and content with this goal ever in mind.

Combining the long-standing course work of Heart & Hands and Study Group, our curriculum provides students with a unique correspondence education opportunity. We recognize the dynamic potential students bring to midwifery education, based on each student’s cumulative life experience, philosophy and belief system. Our instructors are committed to assisting students with comprehensive integration of didactic and clinical experience.

Legalization of direct entry midwifery practice in many states has added to consumer demand for midwifery care. It is our intention to prepare our students to practice sensitively and competently, that the choice of midwifery care may be more readily available to birthing people and their families everywhere. 


“I love getting the chance to witness people’s transformations, and I love it when I can do something helpful.”

~ an NMI Student

To learn more, view the NMI Handbook