CON Midwifery Program Lands Top National Ranking

April 12, 2007

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690


College of Nursing Midwifery Program Receives Top National Ranking for Fifth Consecutive Year

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - For the fifth consecutive year, the University of New Mexico College of Nursing ranked third in the nation for its nurse-midwifery program in the latest issue of U.S. News and World Report’s "America’s Best Graduate Schools." UNM tied with University of California at San Francisco and Yale University.

In the fall of 2006, surveys were conducted for 2007 rankings of graduate nurse-midwifery programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation. The rankings were based on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators and faculty at accredited degree programs or schools.

The UNM College of Nursing nurse-midwifery concentration is a six-term program of study with more than 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Graduates are awarded the Master of Science in Nursing and are eligible for national nurse-midwifery certification and licensure in New Mexico and all other U.S. states after successful completion of the American Midwifery Certification Board’s certification exam. UNM has a 98 percent first time pass rate for this examination. The national average is 86 percent. The program recently received a full 10-year re-accreditation from the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Division of Accreditation.

There is a very long history of midwifery in New Mexico beginning in the Spanish Colonial times with the use of traditional Hispanic midwives (parteras). The first U.S. university-affiliated nurse-midwifery education program was the Catholic Maternity Institute (CMI) in Santa Fe (1945-1968). Under the leadership of the CMI midwives, the professional organization of nurse-midwives, the American College of Nurse-Midwives was incorporated in New Mexico in 1955. And so, midwifery has been a part of New Mexican cultural heritage for many generations.

The mission of the nurse-midwifery program at UNM is to educate graduates to serve the needs of rural and under served populations. To facilitate this, students are placed outside of the Albuquerque metropolitan area for 2/3 of the clinical semesters and the majority of graduates give service to the state after graduation. In the 14 years since the first graduating class, eight graduates have started rural New Mexico practices, two have receive national fellowships, six are CEOs or practice directors, five are in faculty positions and two are state professional organization leaders. Nearly one-third of all births in New Mexico are attended by nurse-midwives, mostly in hospitals.

For more information on nurse-midwifery at UNM, call (505) 272-4223 or visit

Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322

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