Barbara Reale, MSN, BS, BA
Midwifery puts women at the center of their care, as involved partners in learning and decision- making. Combining ancient art and modern science, nurse-midwives use education to empower their patients to make informed decisions. Midwives focus on maintaining health, preventing disease, and the appropriate use of technology.
As a practicing nurse-midwife since 1989 and a faculty member in Penn Nursing’s Nurse-Midwifery Program, Barbara Reale teaches the midwifery model of care as the context for her students to learn to become safe and competent clinicians. Students benefit from her extensive experience working with diverse patient populations and in care settings ranging from the home to birth center, to community hospital, to regional medical centers.
Ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the Nurse-Midwifery Program prepares students to provide highly-competent, family-centered, comprehensive care to women and their families across the lifespan. As course director for several of the program’s core courses, Ms. Reale regularly participates in curriculum design to ensure that content is cohesive and up to date. She is also working to increase the number of local clinical site placements for students through the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration project, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“There’s an ancient art and a modern science to midwifery, and a fundamental core that has to do with a very deep respect for women.”
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania , 1988
- BS, Columbia University , 1985
- BA, Cornell University , 1981
As a teacher, Ms. Reale shares her clinical expertise in optimizing normal pregnancy and birth with her students, in whatever clinical setting they find themselves. Ms. Reale has developed and expanded the program’s use of simulation for basic skills and complex clinical decision-making. She has developed interprofessional simulations for student learning and evaluation. For example, in “Intrapartum/Postpartum/Newborn Care, Clinical” (NURS788) she coordinates collaborations with the faculty and students of the neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and nurse-midwifery programs, who then participate in obstetrical emergency scenarios with OB/GYN residents.
As a Fulbright scholar, Ms. Reale developed a teacher education program, working collaboratively with midwifery educators at the University of West Indies in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Penn is one of five sites nationwide participating in the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration project. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is partnering with Penn Nursing and community-based care settings to increase qualified training for midwifery and advanced practice nursing students. Penn is the only site that is including nurse-midwifery students in the demonstration. Through the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration, Ms. Reale has helped increase the number of clinical placements for nurse midwifery students at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and several other local hospitals.
Selected Career Highlights
- Fellow, American College of Nurse-Midwives
- Two-time winner, Excellence in Teaching Award, American College of Nurse-Midwives
- Past Chair, Division of Global Health, Education Section, American College of Nurse-Midwives
- Appointed member, Nurse-Midwifery Liaison Committee, New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners
- McCool, W., Guidera, M., Reale, B., Smith, A., & Koucoi, J. (2013). Professional issues related to obstacles to midwifery practice in the Americas: A pilot survey. Midwifery, 29, 838-844.
- Miesnik,S., & Reale, B. (2007). A review of issues surrounding medically elective cesarean delivery. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 36, 605-615.
- Reale, B. (2002). Intrapartum care in the 21st century. Nursing Clinics of North America, 37(4), 583-840.