Dawn C. Durain, CNM, MPH, FACNM
The U.S. has the highest unintended pregnancy rate in the developed world, and astonishingly high rates of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.
This is largely due to the U.S. health care system’s focus on treating medical conditions and a lack of health policy support for meaningful wellness strategies and personalized health care decisions. This makes it difficult for girls and women to make self-directed choices about sexual and reproductive health that reflect their beliefs and their needs, and enable them to be healthy, and independent people.
“We prepare students to become leaders in women’s health, and advocates for the women they serve and for the midwifery profession.”
- MPH, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 2000
- CNM, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1984
- ADN, RN, Community College of Allegheny County, 1980
- BA/BS, University of Pittsburgh, 1976
Penn Nursing’s Nurse-Midwifery Program, ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, prepares students to be informed advocates for the women they serve and helps them to become leaders in the profession of midwifery. As associate program director, Dawn Durain helps ensure that students gain a firm scientific foundation in women’s health care and an understanding of the interplay of social, economic, and political forces that impact the provision of care and how and why women seek out care. The program combines critical thinking skills, a strong focus on health care policy, policy analysis, and policy change, and opportunities for clinical experience in a variety of settings
Like all Nurse-Midwifery faculty, Ms. Durain has an active clinical practice, currently at Planned Parenthood. She has also served as executive director of the Familyborn Birth and Women’s Health Center and as a staff nurse-midwife there as well as in the hospital setting. Her clinical experience enables Ms. Durain to share practical approaches to current challenges and trends in women’s health care services with her students.
Nurse-midwifery students gain clinical experience in community hospitals, academic medical centers, out-of-hospital birth settings, public health care systems, and private practices in the U.S. and in selected global settings. For example, Ms. Durain and Mamie K. Guidera, MSN, CNM, FACNM developed and co-teach “Maternal Infant Health in the Americas” (N545), which includes a two-week experience in Central America. Students provide health care and health education to girls and women, and participate in projects that provide education and training for local nurses and traditional midwives. As part of the course, students attend seminars at Penn on global health care systems, approaches to health education in low literacy populations, and the ethics of global health care provision.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Ms. Durain’s teaching also includes an elective course for graduate students on sexual and reproductive health in the Master of Public Health Program. This university-wide, interdisciplinary program is housed in the Perelman School of Medicine. Ms. Durain also contributed to the development of “Complementary/Alternative Therapies in Women’s Health” (NURS 688) and “Women and Incarceration” (N555).
Selected Career Highlights
- Lois Evans Non-Standing Faculty Mentoring Award, Penn Nursing
- Excellence in Teaching Award (twice), American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation
- Section chair, Midwife Educators Section, American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Education
- Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty, Penn Nursing
- Peer reviewer, Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, Social Science and Medicine, and
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Durain, D. (2006). Peer Review - A State Perspective. In Quality Management (Eds.), xxx. (xxx-xxx). Washington, DC: American College of Nurse Midwives.
- Durain, D. (2004). Primary Dysmenorrhea: Assessment and Management Update. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 49 (6), 520-8.
- McCool, W., Durain, D. (2003). Common diagnoses in women’s gynecological health. Varney’s Midwifery, 4th Ed., 379-437.
- Durain, D. (2002). Politics in the birthing room. Nursing Clinics of North America, 37 (4), 795-802.