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Mission & Philosophy

Penn Nursing’s Nurse-Midwifery program creates leaders in the field whose practice and life’s work reflect the highest standards of care for women and newborns within their families and communities, both locally and globally. 

To this end, Midwifery education is a process whereby students and faculty engage and grow in an environment conducive to inquiry, learning, and critical thinking. Scholarship, research, education, and practice are guided by an ethical commitment to the well-being of women and their families; the promotion of comprehensive, quality public health; and the growth of the profession of Midwifery, thus enabling all women the choice of Midwifery care throughout their lives.


In keeping with the clinical focus of this educational program and the philosophy of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the faculty believe the following about the practice of Midwifery:

The autonomous practice of Midwifery is based on the health promotion model and the concept of interdependent practice – the promotion and effective utilization of the unique aspects of each health care professional’s and client’s knowledge and skills joined together to ensure safe, satisfying health care for every client. Midwifery practice encompasses the provision of family-centered, comprehensive care to essentially healthy women and to newborns with respect for human dignity and worth, variety in cultural forms, and the client’s right to self-determination in health care.

The faculty further believe that to provide optimal holistic care for women, Midwives must promote the empowerment of all women in controlling their lives and their health. Midwives need to use the political process for the benefit of women and children throughout the world and their profession. Midwives also need to participate with other professionals in health planning for all women, and to create and institute systems for the delivery of safe, cost-effective health care to all socioeconomic and cultural groups.

Upon completion of the Nurse-Midwifery program, the graduate will be:

  • A safe, entry-level Midwife who meets the criteria of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) for the practice of Midwifery
  • A provider of primary health care for women throughout their lifetime
  • Able to empower women to participate in their own health care
  • A provider of women’s health care autonomously yet collaboratively within the context of an interdisciplinary health care team
  • An advocate for the overall advancement of women’s health
  • Knowledgeable about the basic concepts of public policy in health care practice settings
  • An active participant in life-long learning, education, and research
  • Proficient in the utilization of information technology so as to provide and promote high quality health care to women and their families.

The midwifery program at the University of Pennsylvania is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374; for information about accreditation please contact ACME directly. Tel: 240-485-1802,,