Midwife Education & Courses

Get a Feel for the Different Types of Midwifery Courses

nurse midwife talking to expectant mother in hospital bed

Pursuing a midwifery career takes dedication and years of hard work.

But knowing what's ahead will help prepare you and keep you focused on your goal of empowering and serving women throughout their reproductive lives. Here is a more in-depth look at the types of midwife education courses you will take as a midwifery student.

Getting Ready for Your Midwifery Education

Prerequisites for midwifery courses include classes in many areas of study. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) recommends gaining a solid footing in science courses such as chemistry, biology and microbiology as an undergraduate and completing your bachelor's degree in nursing. Sociology and women's studies classes will also be helpful as you prepare for your graduate-level midwifery education program, according to ACNM.

Fundamental Components

Once you begin your midwifery training, you will embark on a focused path of study for approximately two years. It will be time to take all you've learned as an undergraduate and apply it to the specific courses that will equip you to handle the ups and downs of everyday life as a nurse-midwife.

According to the ACNM, a midwife school must offer the following courses in order to comply with the accreditation standards that they set for the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME):

  • Anatomy and physiology (adult and fetal)
  • Growth and development
  • Genetics
  • Psychosocial, sexual and behavioral development
  • Epidemiology
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacokinetics and therapeutics
  • Health education (individual and group)

A Midwife School Curriculum

The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing has been operating since midwifery education came to the U.S. in 1925. It now offers full- and part-time distance education graduate degree programs with clinical opportunities in your own area. You'll complete academic courses at your own pace via online classes and engage in hands-on clinical practicums just as you would at a traditional campus program.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree at Frontier is a 66-credit program, and the post-master's certificate is a 51-credit program. Both can be completed in two to three years and include didactic and clinical courses with an entrepreneurial focus. These are just some examples of their midwifery courses:

  • Decision Making in Health Assessment
  • Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
  • Pathophysiology for Primary Care
  • Primary Health Care: Acute and Common Problems
  • Postpartum and Newborn Care
  • The Role of Midwifery and Birth Centers in America
  • Set Yourself Up for Success

Certainly, your midwifery education will require a good deal of science coursework, but as you can see, courses in education, sociology and the humanities will serve as backbones to the profession as well. Getting both a well-rounded liberal arts undergraduate education and a focused, skills-based midwife education will provide you with the tools you need to be a successful midwife.

Sources: ACNM.org, American College for Nurse Midwives, Midwives.org.