The role of the nurse midwife is as old as the country itself; but, it wasn’t until 1925, when Mary Breckinridge founded the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky, did nurse-midwifery develop a professional status. Over 90% of Nurse-Midwives currently attend patients in hospitals and clinics, but Direct-Entry Midwives (those who work independently of hospitals, clinics and physicians) are practicing in the U.S., but in lesser numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median yearly salary for qualified nurse midwives at $93,610. While job growth in this area is low, many women’s centers, physician offices, birthing centers and hospitals employ Nurse-Midwives to offer primary care for women.
Tuition costs can vary wildly, depending on your degree, the length of the program and school chosen. Public, or state supported, schools may offer lower tuition costs and private, proprietary schools will more than likely cost more. Online study is less expensive because students aren’t required to pay for on campus housing, food and other fees that on campus students do. There are financial options available to you that may help in your decision to pursue an advanced degree.
Federal Financial Aid
The federal government offers financial assistance to those students who qualify. You will need to complete Federal Student Aid to determine your eligibility. Several nursing organizations also provide scholarships or grants for those registered nurses advancing their careers. Two such organizations are American Association of Nurse Practitioners or American Association of Colleges of Nursing. You may want to check to see if you qualify for such programs.
Employers are increasingly seeing the benefit to organizations by assisting employees advance their degrees. Your Human Resources department should be able to advise you whether your employer offers tuition reimbursement as part of your benefits package.
Veterans, Active Military, Spouses and Dependents
Colleges and universities recognize the service of active, or retired, military personnel and often provide discounts for military personnel and/or spouses or dependents. Talk with your admissions advisor whether the school offers military tuition discounts.
Accreditation is important for healthcare professions. Advanced MSN programs should hold accreditation from a recognized agency such as the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) is significant. Certain nursing specialties may require additional accreditation, certification and state licensure.
Best Medical Degrees has previously published 50 Highest Paying Nursing Specialties and has now done further research into the highest salaried specialties. While there are not many online Midwifery degrees, Best Medical Degrees has identified 10 affordable, online Master of Science in Nursing with Midwifery concentrations and Certified Nurse-Midwifery programs. Ranked by tuition cost, accreditation and length of program, this may be a good basis for your search. School rankings by U.S. News and World Report and other rating organizations are also considered in this list.
1. James Madison University
James Madison University provides a hybrid Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in midwifery. The midwife concentration is offered in collaboration with Shenandoah University. James Madison University provides an online curriculum but also requires one day a week on campus attendance. Located two hours from Washington D.C., James Madison University was established in Virginia in 1908 and has been rated in the top 10 of the Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report and in the Top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Core courses taken at James Madison University includes: Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Concepts in Pathophysiology, Advanced Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics, Research for the Advanced Health Professional, Epidemiology and Population Assessment and
Health Policy for Practice and Advocacy. James Madison University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the midwife program at Shenandoah University holds American College of Nurse-Midwives Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACNM).
Program Length: 49 Credit Hours
*Estimated Tuition Cost: $16,074 (Resident); $43,992 (Non Resident)
*Combined estimated tuition cost for James Madison University courses and Shenandoah University courses
2. East Carolina University
East Carolina University requires students entering their midwifery program to hold a BSN and have at least one year hospital experience (preferably in Labor and Delivery) for admission. This is a MSN Nurse-Midwifery degree, which is a hybrid program, requiring 2-4 days on the Greenville, North Carolina campus at the beginning of each clinical course. Only students from North Carolina and South Carolina are admitted into the program because of the on campus requirement. ECU’s MSN in Midwifery degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Midwifery Education (ACME).
U.S. News and World Report ranks ECU’s Nurse-Midwifery #15 in its Best Graduate Programs and named one of the Best Southeastern College by the Princeton Review. ECU has been educating students since 1907 and has grown to include 12 colleges and more than 29,000 students.Studies include work in pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, theory for Advanced Practice Nursing, healthcare finance and economics during the first year; and, research, health assessment, introduction to primary care, nurse-midwifery management, etc.
Program Length: 51-53 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,970 (Resident); $43,481 (Non-Resident)
3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing
This MSN in Midwifery online degree is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and the School of Nursing holds accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Ranked #35 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, the Nursing School was established in 1979.
The MSN in Midwifery program requires occasional travel to the Lubbock, Texas campus; but, the majority of coursework is offered online. The program requires core coursework in Advanced Nursing Practice, Health Policy, Leadership, Health Informatics and Population Health. Specific midwifery courses will cover Foundations for Nurse Midwifery, Diagnostic Methods, Pharmacotherapeutics and Pathophysiology. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam.
Program Length: 51 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $20,400
4. Old Dominion University
Ranked #31 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News and World Report, Old Dominion University, founded 1930 by the College of William and Mary, is located in Norfolk, Virginia. With an undergraduate enrollment in excess of 19,000 and over 5,000 graduate students. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and the nursing school holds Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation.
Offering an online MSN in Nursing-Midwifery degree, this program is a collaboration between Old Dominion University and Shenandoah University, ending with a MSN with a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) designation. Coursework for this degree includes: Family and Community Primary Care Assessment, Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing, Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice, Physical Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice. Additional midwife curriculum through Shenandoah University focuses on Primary Care for Women, Comprehensive Antepartal Care, Comprehensive Perinatal Care and Practicum experiences, etc.
Program Length: 47 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $22,466 (Residents); $24,252 (Non-Residents)
5. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University, located in Stony Brook, New York, has received a #10 ranking from U.S. News and World Report for its Online Graduate Nursing program. One of the 64 schools in the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook provides an online Advanced Practice Nursing Program in Nurse Midwifery which accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Midwifery Certification Exam. Coursework covers core courses, research, pharmacology, pathophysiology, health assessment and clinical courses in midwifery.
Founded in 1957, Stony Brook University has an enrollment of over 25,000 students and holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing (students without a Bachelor in Nursing, may apply by including a clinical practice portfolio as described on the school’s webpage).
Program Length: 47 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $26,086 (Residents); $44,576 (Non Residents)
6. Philadelphia University
Philadelphia University (aka PhilaU) has an interesting history dating to 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School and has significantly grown over the intervening years with three colleges in College of Architecture and the Built Environment; the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. The Midwifery Degree Programs include a Certification, Master of Science or Doctor of Midwifery.
PhilaU holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the midwifery program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Ranked in the Top 25 Best Graduate Schools, specifically in Nurse-Midwifery, by U.S. News and World Report. Midwifery coursework will vary depending on which program is chosen and practicum experiences may be done in the student’s home state with a qualified preceptor.
Program Length: 36 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $32,400
7. Frontier Nursing University
Located in Hyden, Kentucky, Frontier Nursing University was established in 1925 and has grown to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the top 15 Family Nurse Practitioner and 30 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and has the distinction of being the first national, distance education midwifery program in 1989. Frontier Nursing University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Offered online, this MSN in Nurse-Midwifery program requires two, on-campus sessions and provides home community practicum experiences for students. A BSN is required for admission and the program offers a companion Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)degree with the completion of 17 credit hours above the MSN program. Coursework includes studies in: core work in healthcare promotion, epidemiology and biostatistics, evidence based practiced; and studies in clinical management for specialty care and clinical practicum.
Program Length: 64 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $35,200
8. Midwives College of Utah
This school was founded in 1980 as the Utah School of Midwifery and holds accreditation from the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, which is approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a recognized accreditation organization. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Midwives College of Utah (MCU) offers an online Master of Science in Midwifery program. The school provides bachelors and masters program, depending on the student’s needs.
Both programs aim to prepare students to practice as Certified Professional Midwives. The undergraduate program focuses on training CPMs to work within their communities with a focus on technique and ethical standards. The graduate program, while holding the same goals as the undergraduate program, adds additional study in research, policy, education, outreach and programming.
Program Length: Not Specified
Estimated Tuition Cost: $36,000
9. University of Cincinnati
This is a Certified Nurse Midwife degree is offered online that will allow successful graduates to sit for the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) certification exam. The program is accredited by the ACNM Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and the University of Cincinnati’s School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Ranking in the top 10% of all national nursing programs by U.S. News and World Report, the CNM degree focuses on training for women’s healthcare from pre-menarche throughout menopause. Coursework will include core courses in Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology and Physiology, Biostatistics for Evidence Based Practice; and, courses in Primary Care of Episodic Illnesses in Women and Practicum, Well Woman for Midwifery and Intrapartum, Post-Partum and Newborn Care, etc.
The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819 and the nursing school’s origins date to 1889. With an enrollment exceeding 36,000 students, UC is a public institution and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the #8 Online Graduate Nursing Programs in the country.
Program Length: 57 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $41,268 (Residents); $42,123 (Non Residents)
10. Bethel University
This Master of Science Nurse-Midwifery degree is offered online with 1-2 weekend visits to the St. Paul, Minnesota campus each year. Started as a Baptist seminary in 1871, Bethel University has grown to include a College of Arts and Sciences, College of Adult and Professional Studies, Graduate School and a Seminary. The MS in Nurse-Midwifery is pre-accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and Bethel University holds a #22 ranking by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Regional Universities ratings.
This program takes approximately 20 months for completion and will include studies in: Midwifery Perspectives, Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nurses, Global Perspectives of Health, Advanced Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Nurse-Midwifery courses and practicum. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Midwifery Certification exam.
Program Length: 57 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $43,890