College of Nursing

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Nurse-midwifery concentration receives 10 years of accreditation

Aug. 8, 2016

The Nurse-midwifery concentration in the Master of Science in Nursing Program at East Carolina University has received 10 years of accreditation, the maximum granted by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. The accreditation follows an extensive self-evaluation and spring 2016 site visit. The reviewers assessed the program with no recommendations for changes.

“We know that our midwifery faculty, students, alumni, and clinical preceptors and partners are truly exceptional because we work with them every day,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, “but it is gratifying to receive this external endorsement of the excellent work they do.”

ECU’s midwifery concentration is the only course of study of its kind in North Carolina or South Carolina. A central aim of the curriculum is to prepare graduates to assume care provider roles in rural areas to better meet the needs of underserved women and infants. To date, the program has graduated 187 students, most of whom have remained in North Carolina to provide midwifery care.

At ECU, midwifery is maintained as one of seven concentrations in the College of Nursing’s MSN program. It is a primarily web-based program in which students come to campus from one to four days each clinical semester for lab intensives, then attend clinical rotations in communities near their place of residence. The competitive program graduates midwives who do well on the national board exam. All 12 May 2016 graduates passed the national licensure exam on the first attempt and 9 of the 12 have become employed as certified nurse-midwives in North Carolina.

The midwifery concentration first admitted students in 1992. It has maintained accreditation with ACME since its initial accreditation in 1993; its most recent accreditation, prior to 2016, was in 2006.

“The feedback we got from ACME was, ‘Great job. Keep doing what you’re doing,’” said Dr. Becky Bagley, director of the nurse-midwifery concentration. “I’m excited to do that and to see how our program continues to improve and grow over time.”