INTRODUCTION TO THE NATIONAL COLLEGE OF MIDWIFERY
The National College of Midwifery was originally founded in 1989 by the New Mexico
Midwives Association and the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center under the
name The New Mexico College of Midwifery. Its purpose is to preserve and improve
the apprenticeship route for midwifery education.
The College is a not-for-profit educational corporation governed by a board of
directors and advised by the Faculty Advisory Board, consisting primarily of licensed
and student midwives in New Mexico. The College is licensed as a Postsecondary
Institution by the:
New Mexico Commission on Higher
5301Central NE, Suite 1500
Albuquerque, NM 87108
The College is accredited by:
220 W. Birch, Flagstaff, AZ
The College is presently run by founding president Elizabeth Gilmore, LM who is the
founder of the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center (a nationally accredited
freestanding birth center) now doing business as the Northern New Mexico
Women’s Health and Birth Center. Elizabeth Gilmore is the Chair of the New Mexico
Midwives Association Education Committee. She can be contacted at:
#209 State Road 240, Taos, NM 87571 Tel: 505-758-8914, Fax: 505-758-0302
The apprenticeship route of midwifery education has proven in New Mexico to be
effective, low cost and safe as reflected in the decade of outcome statistics
published by the New Mexico Department of Health from 1980 to 1990. State
statistics are now submitted to the Midwives Alliance of North America for tabulation.
The College is based on the belief that apprenticeship education can take place in
the context of a college-without-walls incorporating the principles of adult learning,
while at the same time providing the structure for quality assurance at the college
level. Our programs are self-paced, and require a high degree of initiative and
responsibility on the part of the student.
To provide a mechanism for students to “dual-enroll” in a midwifery
apprenticeship, in a midwifery education program or in a midwifery school, while
simultaneously enrolling in the College to achieve a degree in midwifery. Group
size may vary from a one-on-one interaction to a group interaction of any size
To provide a degree-granting, educational route for the training of midwives in
their community setting in order to contain costs
To stimulate, encourage and reward research by midwifery practitioners
To promote community involvement and keep the student’s family structure intact
To provide a core curriculum for each of the degrees offered
To provide an Associate of Science in Midwifery, a Bachelor of Science in
Midwifery, a Master of Science in Midwifery, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in
To provide courses and guidance to professional and state entities to fill
expressed needs for specific courses or subject areas
To provide accessible midwifery training to student midwives in any location and
at any level of training under the guidance of an approved preceptor(s)
To allow the student to choose her/his own preceptor(s) according to a mutually
acceptable agreement based on College guidelines
To provide a faculty board made up of volunteers in the field of midwifery
education and related disciplines for reviewing applications from
preceptor/apprentice dyads, for setting curriculum requirements, and for
reviewing proposed research projects for BSM, MSM, and PhD candidates.
To address the following concerns about midwifery apprenticeship nationally:
1. Consistency from preceptorship to preceptorship in academic content
2. Guidance for the preceptor and the student through the materials to be
3. Credibility for the academic program
DEFINITION OF MIDWIFERY APPRENTICESHIP
Midwifery apprenticeship refers to learning midwifery from a fully licensed midwife
(or other obstetrical practitioner approved in her/his jurisdiction) who guides the
student through academic studies and clinical participation in the preceptor's
practice setting at a mutually agreed upon pace. The preceptor supervises the
student’s development of academic and clinical skills considered by the national
standards of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and the North
American Registry of Midwives (NARM) to be the scope of midwifery care. The
student is primarily responsible for meeting the academic requirements, while the
preceptor evaluates academic progress, offering or insuring that the student obtains
any special classes or additional learning resources in areas of specific importance
or difficulty, as agreed upon by student and preceptor.
PROGRAM CONTENT AND
The program is based on the Midwives Alliance of North America’s Core Competencies,
on the skills and experience requirements by the North American Registry of Midwives
for Certified Professional Midwives, and on the accreditation requirements of the
Midwifery Education Accreditation Council.
The content of each degree is approached in the context of adult education, recognizing
the need for self-care for mothers and recognizing the importance of empowerment in
the learning processes of students.
The organization of the content of each degree curriculum evolves from didactic
knowledge through clinical skills and into judgment. Students and preceptors may
undertake the content in any order they choose. In the advanced degrees, the
organization of the content supports the research process.
Learning sites will vary depending on the location of the preceptorship. The National
College of Midwifery student is commonly “dual-enrolled” in the College and in the
preceptor’s midwifery education program, be it a one-on-one apprenticeship, a group
apprenticeship, or even a midwifery school. The student must ascertain whether the
preceptor(s) can provide the variety and number of clinical experiences required. The
preceptor(s) will direct the student to a variety of sites, which may include hospitals,
clinics, offices, health centers and observation in obstetric and neonatal high-risk
centers. The College will verify the preceptor's credentials and recommendations.
Preceptor sites may have requirements and policies regarding students in their training
program that are different from the College’s (e.g., the time frame within which a student
must complete training). The College’s requirements are detailed below; in addition, the
student should inquire as to any other policies a preceptor site may have. It is the
student’s responsibility to know the State requirements for direct-entry midwives
in the state in which they are apprenticing or planning to practice.
Differences in students' experiences will arise from different settings and preceptor
styles. Students and preceptors need to work out the details of their program
individually depending on the student's needs and the preceptor's preferences and
CHOOSING A MIDWIFERY PRECEPTOR
1. Be certain this person meets all the requirements detailed under “Faculty
2. A preceptor must have a clinical site or be able to supervise the student in a
clinical site where the required skills and necessary clinical experiences will be
3. The preceptor should be excited about providing the student with midwifery
training, and be willing to tend to the paperwork required by the College (syllabi,
evaluations, transcripts, peer-review, etc.)
4. The preceptor must be willing and able to furnish the necessary recommendations
and documentation of credentials.
5. Preceptors must be willing to fill out the required Syllabus forms for the
modules/courses to be completed for the following trimester with the student and
send them in to the College for approval.
Preceptors must be willing to evaluate academic progress according to the
evaluation mechanism they have chosen for each subject and detailed on the
syllabi they have submitted. These mechanisms may include: quizzes, tests, skill
evaluations, discussion, project completion, etc.
Preceptors must also be willing to evaluate clinical skills progress based on the
Practical Skills Guide for Midwives, by Sharon Evans and Pam Weaver as
required by NARM.
6. Preceptors may combine the supervision of academic and clinical experience, or
the student may have different preceptors for different portions of the academic
and clinical experiences, as long as each clinical preceptor is registered with the
College as an approved preceptor prior to the student’s initiation of study.
7. Preceptors should be able to direct the student to other clinical sites for additional
observation experience if necessary.
8. On the Student-Preceptor Contract, the Preceptor will disclose the volume of
clinical interactions at their site that will be available to the student and also the
probable time frame necessary for completion of the program.
9. Preceptors must be willing to provide the student with transcripts of experiences
supervised by them. (Transcripts may be supplied either by the preceptor(s) or by
the accredited educational entity which offered the course.)
10. Preceptors must orient the student to the laws and regulations governing
midwifery in their State, and devise a supervision plan which takes these into
11. Preceptors must be willing to videotape their instruction of a particular NARM skill
and/or the teaching of a MANA core competency once a year. This will be sent to
other preceptors for Peer and Institutional evaluation. Feedback will then be
forwarded to the Preceptor. These evaluations will be used to assist preceptors to
be aware of their teaching characteristics. They will not be used for retention,
promotion, merit recognition, tenure or termination, as the College leaves the
choice of staying with a preceptor up to the student, and vice-versa. It is
important to remember that preceptors are not College employees. The
student/preceptor relationship is always voluntary.
11. Preceptors must be willing to sit on the Faculty Advisory Board.
Introduction and Information For Those Taking the NARM Exam
Students and preceptors are expected to meet with each other weekly to review
progress and troubleshoot any problem areas. The preceptor is expected to
provide and supervise clinical, hands-on experience and to evaluate the student's
clinical progress. The preceptor also guides the student through the academic
portion of the curriculum. At the beginning of each trimester Students and
Preceptors will fill out the Syllabus form found at the beginning of each required
curriculum module. Students and preceptors will participate in mutual
evaluations and planning. Students and their preceptors are encouraged to
attend the College's annual meeting, which takes place in New Mexico, to
provide feedback regarding the program. In addition, feedback is solicited at the
end of each trimester on the evaluation forms and annually on surveys sent out
by the administration. Please contact the College Administration any time
with suggestions, etc.
If the student and preceptor disagree they can ask the College President for
mediation by filling out, and sending in, a Student Preceptor Meeting Form, and if
dissatisfied, may ask the Board of Directors for further mediation. Please see the
section on Grievance Procedures.
The candidate may change or add preceptors provided the new preceptor
successfully completes the application process.
A booklist is included in the course materials for the Associate Degree. In the
event that a student is unable to obtain a needed book, the College may have it
available for lending with a deposit (which is returned to the student when the
book is returned to the College). The college has video courses in analytical
writing, fundamentals of elementary math, and introductory statistics. These can
be borrowed from the College and the necessary accompanying books can be
bought from the College.
College headquarters can always be consulted for ideas for accessing locally
unavailable resources. Members of the Faculty Advisory Board may also be
contacted for assistance.
Introduction and Information For Those Taking the NARM Exam
The College is committed to helping students and preceptors obtain needed
If you have access to the Internet, Google.com is one of the best search engines
to use when researching a topic. If you want to find out about the latest
publications on an article, we recommend the National Library of Medicine’s
Be sure to check your local library, your hospital library, your local college and
Book and Video Lending Policy
When available, books and videos will be loaned to students from the College
Library for a 2 month period. The book shall then be returned to the College.
Written notice of when the book or video is due back will be included when
the book is mailed to the student.
Upon requesting a book or video for loan, the student will send a deposit in
the form of a check for the amount equal to the list price of the item. This
check will be held by the College in the student’s file, will not be cashed and
will be destroyed or returned to the student (whichever the student prefers)
when the book is returned to the College in good condition.
If the book or video is not returned on time, is returned in unacceptable
condition (is written in or damaged) or is not returned after two documented
attempts by the college to contact the student, the deposit check will be
cashed by the College
Advising, Counseling, Tutoring
It is the student’s responsibility to meet weekly with her preceptor(s) to constantly
communicate about any difficulties with academic or clinical materials, and to
obtain advice and counseling. Students and preceptors will need to determine if
tutoring will be needed in any area. If so, the preceptor will direct the student to
tutoring resources which the student must pay for separately. The College
administrators are available for additional advising about any specific problems
students and preceptors have identified. A phone appointment can be made with
the administration for brain-storming and problem-solving.
Introduction and Information For Those Taking the NARM Exam