Department of Midwifery

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Midwifery is to educate and inspire leaders in the profession of midwifery.

Expected Learning Outcomes:

The Department of Midwifery educates midwives with the knowledge, skills and abilities to conform to national and international standards of midwifery competence and to:

  1. Practice autonomously in a variety of settings, with a primary focus in home and birth center locations.
  2. Provide maternity care, in alignment with the Midwives Model of Care™ that promotes birth as a healthy and normal physiologic process.
  3. Function within the health care system, consulting and referring appropriately.
  4. Qualify for licensure or registration in a variety of jurisdictions, including certification by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).
  5. Promote midwifery through state, provincial and national professional organizations, political process, research activities and policy development.
  6. Work in partnership with the clients they serve in a way that promotes personal responsibility, validates knowledge and experience, and encourages lifelong learning.
  7. Be racially and culturally aware providers that can act as agents for equity and justice in their work and life.
  8. Be critical thinkers who can integrate evidence-informed practice and ethical, professional and legal issues into their care of clients.

Program Overview

Bastyr’s three-year, direct-entry midwifery program trains students in all aspects of midwifery practice, preparing them to offer safe, high-quality maternity care to women and their families.

The rigorous, proven curriculum makes use of state-of-the art technologies and a well-qualified, approved network of clinical training sites. The curriculum meets all of the core competencies and skills as identified by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).

Studies in related fields, such as epidemiology, nutrition, pharmacology, genetics, embryology, counseling and education, as well as social justice and professional issues, build skills necessary for the practice of culturally versatile, competent midwifery in our increasingly complex health care environment.

The department welcomes students who have previous midwifery training or practicing midwives who have not attended a formal midwifery educational program and/or want to earn a degree. All students in the program must meet the transfer credit requirements and complete at least two-thirds of the program and all of the practicum while enrolled at Bastyr.

Graduates qualify to take the examination for national certification as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and, depending on regional requirements, may apply for licensure or provincial registration.

Midwifery Licensure

Direct-entry midwifery is regulated in more than 25 states through licensure, certification and registration. The most current information regarding the legal status of direct-entry midwifery can be found here:

Graduates of our program are eligible to take the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) exam for registration as a certified professional midwife (CPM). Although the CPM is a national certification, licensure of the practice of midwifery (as with most professions) occurs on a state-by-state basis. In the states that license direct-entry midwives, the CPM credential or the NARM exam is part of the licensure process.

Required Abilities and Skills for Midwifery Program Admission

The Department of Midwifery welcomes applicants who are differently abled. Applicants will have the opportunity to discuss the impact that their limitations may have on both their ability to successfully complete the midwifery program at Bastyr and their ability to practice midwifery after graduation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to protect persons with disabilities from discrimination. It recommends that the essential functions necessary for performing the proposed job or schooling be fully described so that the candidate can determine if he or she can perform these functions.

The following is a list of the essential functions of a midwife and a midwifery student in our program:


A midwifery applicant should be able to:

  • Use objective reflective skills to perform preceptor/clinical site evaluation for suitability of learning environment and clinical skills opportunities.
  • Observe/visually assess a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.


A midwifery applicant should be able to:

  • Speak to, hear and understand clients and their families.
  • Perceive non-verbal cues and describe changes in mood or emotion.
  • Communicate sensitively and effectively with clients using verbal, non-verbal and written methods regarding clinical issues.
  • Communicate verbally and in writing with classmates, instructors, staff, preceptors and professional colleagues.


A midwifery applicant should be able to:

  • Perform general clinical skills for conducting a complete physical examination, including pelvic assessments.
  • Perform fine motor skills such as suturing, starting IVs, injecting and performing venipuncture.
  • Lift and reposition clients.
  • Correctly administer medications.
  • Execute motor skills necessary in emergency treatment, such as resuscitation and control of hemorrhage.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

A midwifery applicant should be able to:

  • Read, understand/interpret and apply technical and scientific material.
  • Memorize facts and test successfully for them.
  • Solve complex problems by synthesizing knowledge obtained from books, classes and clinical experiences.
  • Write coherent essays.
  • Research topics relevant to midwifery practice, and present findings.
  • Develop and exercise clinical judgment and decision-making skills.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

A midwifery applicant should be able to:

  • Maintain one’s own mental and physical health.
  • Function effectively under stress.
  • Display flexibility in the face of uncertainty.
  • Demonstrate compassion, maturity, integrity, motivation and interest.
  • Not use illegal or legal medications, alcohol or other drugs that may impair judgment.
  • Be available to the preceptor(s) at all times of the day or night for work as a midwifery student, while in a clinical site.
  • Work long and irregular hours, sometimes with little break, or for days at a time.

The ADA allows employers, schools or adjunct clinical faculty to ask if applicants can perform these essential functions. They can ask applicants to describe or demonstrate how they will perform an essential function. They can also test applicants for aptitude, physical agility, intelligence and specific skills.

Bastyr and Department of Midwifery staff are available to help applicants, students and preceptors propose reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities.