Clinical Training - Midwifery
At Bastyr, you'll learn through hands-on training that overlaps with classroom theory. We use a time-tested apprenticeship model in which students work side-by-side with experienced preceptors (who are licensed midwives) and other women’s health-care professionals.
Students typically start off slowly at their clinical sites, mainly observing while continuing to learn midwifery theory and skills in their courses. Experience has shown us that students learn more deeply and quickly when they observe and apply lessons simultaneously in clinical settings. Clinical practicum rotations begin in the third quarter of the program and continue through the second and third years of the program. Clinical time with preceptors increases as classroom time decreases, preparing students to integrate their knowledge and skills in preparation for entry-level practice.
Basic clinical skills, such as performing blood draws, IVs, physical/pelvic exams, pap tests, and neonatal resuscitation, are all learned by students in the classroom first. Before entering a clinical site, students must be trained in adult CPR and neonatal resuscitation, have a TB test, be immune to or vaccinated against rubella, and pass a criminal background check. To protect themselves and the women and babies they serve, students are strongly encouraged to be immunized against Hepatitis B, pertussis and influenza as well.
Where Students Get Clinical Experience
Students obtain their clinical experience in gynecology/family planning clinics, prenatal/postpartum clinics, homebirth settings, birth centers, and hospitals in North America. Students may work with licensed midwives, registered midwives, certified professional midwives, certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, naturopathic doctors, physician assistants or physicians during these rotations.
The Department of Midwifery places all students in qualified clinical training sites. Students must live within a one-hour commute of an approved clinical training site and must be prepared to relocate temporarily if the community where they reside does not have adequate clinical training opportunities. This may requires flexibility and the support of the student's family, as it may mean separation and economic challenges.
Preceptors are also known as Community Faculty in this program and must meet criteria established by the Department of Midwifery to supervise students. Community Faculty must be practicing legally and attending births as a licensed, certified or registered midwife for at least three years and have sufficient obstetrical/gynecological volume to adequately instruct, supervise, and evaluate the student's clinical training. The Department of Midwifery screens and approves all potential preceptors and Community Faculty. Students work closely with the practicum coordinator in the process of being assigned to their clinical rotations.
Blended Learning Model - Midwifery
The midwifery program combines the best of online and face-to-face learning methods to allow students to remain in their communities for learning and clinical training and commute three times each quarter for on-site intensives with their classmates. All midwifery students participate in this blended learning model.
Online courses provide structured learning experiences each week. Courses are not self-paced; there are learning activities for each week that must be completed on schedule. The Department of Midwifery uses the Moodle platform for engaging students and faculty in online learning, although multiple technologies are often used, including collaborative tools such as Google Docs, Skype and Google Hangouts. Typical weekly activities include extensive reading, watching online videos and/or lectures, collaborative and individual writing assignments, group research projects, worksheets, quizzes and online discussions. Although most activities during online weeks can be accomplished at any time of the day or night, assignments are due on a regular schedule. In the first two years of the program, students should plan on spending a minimum of thirty hours studying during online weeks.
Three times per quarter (generally for one week per month), each student cohort is on campus together, which allows the face-to-face learning that is vital to midwifery training. This time allows students to build strong relationships with classmates and faculty. Students are typically in the classroom for 8-12 hours per day during these weeks, while professors and faculty rotate through, engaging in face-to-face learning activities. Classroom weeks often include practicing skills, role plays, problem solving, group activities, case studies, student presentations, lectures, guest speakers and hands-on workshops.
Students are most successful in our blended learning format when they:
- Understand the rigors of the blended learning format. A course-load of 13 credits per quarter is essentially equivalent to a full-time job. For each credit hour, students are expected to spend three hours per week engaging in learning activities. That’s 39 hours per week for an average quarter in this program.
- Develop a study plan. Students are able to be most successful when they can plan for adequate time each week to complete the learning activities for each course. Some students have organized themselves to devote a certain day each week to each course, or to structure each day so as to spend a certain number of hours on each course.
- Take responsibility for learning. Midwifery is a profession in which we care for the health and well-being of mothers and babies. It is not sufficient to merely memorize enough information to “pass the test.” Midwives must integrate knowledge and skills into the development of clinical judgment. This requires lifelong learning and reflection that extends well beyond the end of the academic training period. The Department of Midwifery expects that learners will engage in this program with a desire to learn for themselves.
- Know how they learn best. Because a good portion of learning in this program occurs outside of the classroom, it is important for each student to understand how to create a learning environment and process that works best for them. This may include figuring out the best time of day to study more complex topics; finding a distraction-free place to study; studying with a friend or in groups when needed; converting learning resources to other forms (for example, reading something versus listening to it); organizing notes and study materials effectively; and seeking help with any barriers to success, such as writing skills or test anxiety.
- Have or develop the necessary technology skills. Functioning in the online environment requires the use of technology in ways that the face-to-face learning setting does not. Students entering our program should be very comfortable with keyboarding, navigating the Internet, using word processing and presentation software, understanding the structure and use of online discussion forums, uploading files and organizing electronic materials.
- Know how to build a support system. Midwifery school will be one of the most challenging things you’ve ever undertaken. Students who are most successful in this program are those who develop multiple strategies and backup plans to create the space for effective learning and clinical training. This may include support systems for caring for children or other family members (possibly for days at a time), financial assistance (it is unlikely that you will be able to work at an outside job while in the program) or help with studying or writing. Planning for regular self-care is also important for preventing burnout and staying healthy.
- Respond favorably to technological (and birth-related) uncertainties. Dealing with, and planning for, uncertainty is a necessary skill of a midwife. Students do best in this program when they save their work frequently, perform regular computer backups, always have access to schoolwork, and don’t wait until the last minute to complete learning activities.
The blended learning model of online and face-to-face learning can be a very effective structure when students are well-prepared and equipped to get the most out of both aspects. Our program has used this model since 2000, and we continue to refine it as new technologies and teaching methods emerge.
Curriculum - Midwifery
The midwifery program addresses both the art and science of midwifery by integrating theory with clinical experience. The Midwifery Care courses are the foundation of the program. All courses build knowledge and skills that are necessary for the practice of midwifery through the use of case questions, skills practice labs, role-plays, discussion, student presentations and research projects. The midwifery curriculum is enhanced by studies in related fields, such as epidemiology, nutrition, pharmacology, genetics, embryolog and counseling.
Students hone clinical skills and judgment during practicum with practicing midwives.
Graduates must demonstrate proficiency in the midwifery program's Core Competencies as shown by:
- Satisfactory completion of all didactic and clinical courses with a grade of B- or better.
- Satisfactory completion and presentation of the Master's Research Project.
- Satisfactory completion of all sections of the comprehensive written and clinical exams in the last year of school.
- Completion of 40 hours of community service for the school or the profession of midwifery.
- Demonstration of the qualities of a professional midwife as determined by the Student Progress Committee and recommendation for graduation by the committee.
Graduates must also meet the following minimum clinical requirements
Participation in 60 births, including at least:
- 30 births in which the student functions in role of primary midwife under supervision
- 20 births in which the student is actively involved in the client's care
- 10 births in which the student is observing
- 30 births in an out-of-hospital setting
- 25 births in the U.S. or the student's country of origin
Participation in 1,500 hours (the equivalent of 50 credits) of clinical work, including at least:
- 400 hours of intrapartum experience
- 800 hours of clinic time in prenatal, postpartum and gynecological care
Participation in 720 client contacts, including at least:
- 300 prenatal exams
- 100 postpartum visits
- 50 newborn exams
- 50 follow-up newborn exams
- 50 gynecological exams
Clinical training for at least one year at a minimum of two clinical sites in the U.S. or the student's home country. All clinical training is with preceptors who are practicing legally in their region and will incorporate:
- At least one preceptorship in which the clinical faculty member is a midwife
- One site for at least six months and 15 births (involved and supervised primary) in an out-of-hospital setting
- One site for at least three months and 10 births (involved and/or supervised primary)
- Satisfactory completion of all levels of clinical evaluation
Demonstration of continuity of care by providing these continuous care services as the primary midwife under supervision to at least 15 women:
- 5 full continuity-of-care contacts that include:
- At least 5 prenatal visits (spanning two trimesters)
- The birth
- The newborn exam
- At least 2 postpartum visits
- 10 other continuity-of-care contacts that include:
- At least 2 prenatal visits
- The birth
- The newborn exam
- At least 1 postpartum visit
Expected Learning Outcomes
The Department of Midwifery educates midwives to conform to national and international standards of midwifery competence and to do the following:
- Practice autonomously in a variety of settings, which may include homes, birth centers, clinics and hospitals
- Promote birth as a normal process requiring a minimum of intervention
- Function within the health care system, consulting and referring appropriately
- Qualify for licensure or registration in a variety of jurisdictions, including certification by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
- Promote midwifery through state, provincial and national professional organizations, the political process, research activities and policy development
- Work in partnership with the women they serve in a way that promotes personal responsibility, validates knowledge and experience, and encourages lifelong learning
- Promote the Midwives Model of Care™
Curriculum and course changes in the 2013-14 Bastyr University Catalog are applicable to students entering during the 2013-14 academic year. Please refer to the appropriate catalog if interested in curriculum and courses required for any other entering year.Click here to download the PDF file.
Prerequisites - MSM
Entering students must have a bachelor's degree and must have completed the following courses or their equivalent with a C or better. Students may apply to the program while completing prerequisite course work but must have a plan for completing prerequisites before the start of the program in the fall.
|College Algebra or Statistics||4 quarter credits|
|Psychology||3 quarter credits|
|Introductory Nutrition||3 quarter credits|
|General Chemistry (allied-health-major level) with lab||4 quarter credits|
|Microbiology||4 quarter credits|
|Anatomy and Physiology SERIES||8 quarter credits|
|Doula Training (DONA or ALACE approved)||Not college course|
|Childbirth Educator Training (ICEA/ Lamaze approved)||Not college course|
Tuition for Master's & Doctoral Degrees
Average first-year costs for a typical credit load in the 2013-2014 academic year.The first year is considered fall, winter and spring quarters.
Average CreditsFirst year.
Tuition & FeesFees include a $25 quarterly student activity fee. See the University Catalog for a full schedule of fees.
Books & Supplies
TotalThe budget used to determine financial-aid eligibility allows for an additional $21,600 for a 9-month period of living expenses.
|Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine||78.5||$31,864||$6,425||$38,289|
|Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine||68||
|Master of Science in Acupuncture||66||$28,014||$3,300||$31,860|
|Combined BS/MS in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine||68||$28,630||$3,400||$32,576|
|Master of Science in Ayurvedic Sciences||37||$19,897||$1,850||$20,987|
|Master of Science in Nutrition (all tracks)Average first-year credit loads for nutrition master programs vary: Didactic Program in Dietetics (40 credits), Research (44), Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology (47).||44||
|Master of Science in Midwifery $3,000 in extra transportation costs are automatically added for out-of-state students. Midwifery students living in Washington will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for this addition.||42.5||$22,470||$2,125||$24,595|
|Combined BS/MS in Midwifery||42.5||$22,470||$2,125||$24,595|
|Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology||36||$22,470||$1,800||$24,270|
See also Financial Aid at Bastyr
PLEASE NOTE: For financial aid purposes, cost of attendance also includes $21,600 per nine months to cover room & board, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.
Quick Facts - MSM
Master of Science in Midwifery
The Master of Science in Midwifery is available to students who already hold a bachelor's degree.
Length of Program
3 years (11 quarters), full time
- Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
- Licensed Midwife
- Registered Midwife
For more information on titles and licensure, visit the North American Registry of Midwives.
- Start or join a private practice providing full-scope midwifery care, focusing on birth-center and home births
- Qualify for registration in Canada as a midwife who practices in homes, birth centers and hospitals
- Develop or work in a community birth center
- Provide care as part of an integrated maternity care team
- Conduct research
- Act as a consultant to maternal/infant health initiatives
- Work nationally and/or internationally to teach and provide care
- Serve as a national policy advocate
Midwifery is regulated in more than 25 states through licensure, certification and registration. See a map showing the legal status of midwives across the country.
Program Summary - MSM
Bastyr University's direct-entry Master of Science in Midwifery program trains students in all aspects of midwifery care, preparing them to greatly improve the quality and breadth of maternity care offered to women and their families. It also qualifies graduates to become state (or provincially) licensed and nationally certified midwives.
The rigorous, proven curriculum – based on the competencies established by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and the combined expertise of Bastyr University and the former Seattle Midwifery School – uses state-of-the-art technologies and an extensive network of clinical training sites around the globe.
The program is intended for entry-level midwifery students and is three years in length (11 quarters), culminating in a Master of Science in Midwifery. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to sit for examinations to become licensed as a midwife in Washington or other states, registered in Canadian provinces, and nationally certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).