GW Nursing launches midwifery program to improve outcomes and health equity in childbirth

August 17, 2023

mother holding newborn baby

Washington, D.C. – The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education recently granted five-year pre-accreditation to the George Washington University School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery program.

“Midwifery is a calling. Midwives are called upon to provide compassionate care to women and families and GW’s Nurse-Midwifery program will prepare them to do just that,” said Dean Susan Kelly-Weeder, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP. “The M.S.N. in Nurse-Midwifery is an asynchronous online program geared toward adult learners. Our faculty work with experts in our Online Learning and Instructional Technology team to ensure that the student experience lives up to GW Nursing’s #8 ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Online Master’s programs.”

The nurse-midwifery program provides education on midwifery history, the scope of practice, and the profession of midwifery in the first two years of the program. Thus, allowing students to apply their acquired knowledge in the clinical setting during the last two semester of the program.

“In addition to the online courses, students will receive in-person clinical skills training from experienced midwives passionate about the field,” said Director of Midwifery Education Suzan Ulrich, Dr. P.H., M.S.N., M.N., CNM, FACNM. “The curriculum emphasizes health equity and culturally congruent care. We believe in the power of community birth which promote physiologic births and family centered care, and plan to prepare GW midwifery students to provide care in all birth settings.”

“Midwifery is the answer to the maternity care crisis in the U.S., where maternal mortality is increasing and Black women die at three times the rate of white women,” said Midwifery Assistant Professor Tarnisha Hemphill, DNP, CNM. “Midwives provide holistic, family-centered care for women throughout the pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, thereby supporting families and empowering women to become mothers.” To address the lack of diversity in the field, the nurse-midwifery program is committed to increasing the number of students who are Black, indigenous, and people of color to meet the needs of diverse communities and decrease disparities in maternity outcomes.

This eight term, two-and-a-half-year program is 50 credits. The ideal candidates have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university with a preferred scholastic grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates will need to provide official transcripts from all post-secondary schools, two letters of recommendation, a current resume, statement of purpose, and an active and unencumbered nursing license.

The George Washington University School of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs that make it possible for students to succeed in providing high-quality, compassionate health care. As one of the top-ranked nursing schools in the nation, GW Nursing is proud to offer innovative educational programs led by top-tier faculty, supported by the latest in health care technology.

GW Nursing is also committed to transforming policy, and having graduate faculty on campus in Washington, D.C. and Ashburn, VA, allows us to maintain connections to the world’s most influential health organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health. At GW Nursing, students not only study the world, but work to improve it.


In an interview with GW Today, Tarnisha Hemphill, assistant professor of midwifery and a practicing midwife, breaks down the holistic, family-centered model of care that underpins the School of Nursing's master's program in nurse-midwifery.