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Nurse Midwifery Philosophy and Beliefs


The UCSF/SFGH Interdepartmental Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (INMEP) philosophy, program purposes, and terminal objectives that follow were written by the full faculty in November 1989 and revised in February 1994 and in November 2001.

The UCSF/SFGH INMEP program ascribes to the philosophy of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).


INMEP Beliefs

The CNMs of the UCSF/SFGH INMEP program believe that a feminist philosophy supports their processes of caring for women and teaching students midwifery. This philosophy can be broadly described the view that social and cultural forces result in inequality between men and women and that these inequalities should be remedied. We believe that women's experiences and knowledge are valuable, as are men's, and influence the processes of education and health care.

Therefore, we believe the following about the practice and teaching of midwifery:

  • All women can benefit from midwifery services.
  • Reproductive cycles in women's lives are best viewed as essentially healthy experiences.
  • Preventive health care and education in health promotion are integral components of midwifery care.
  • Midwives care for women in a manner which acknowledges the contexts in which they live, including and understanding of, and sensitivity to, psychosocial, economic and cultural factors.
  • Midwives create a climate, through education and support, where women are able to make choices about their lives, may choose to act as change agents, and can transform circumstances which hinder their self-determination.
  • Midwives encourage family-centered care and decision making within the context of the health care system.
  • Midwives must confront and change institutionalized biases in the health care environment.
  • Midwives honor the role of intuition in themselves, their clients, and their students, using it to guide further examination of the care process.
  • Learning is enhanced when the learner is respected, when expectations are clearly communicated, and where learning situations permit acknowledgment of individual differences.
  • The education of midwives should enhance their future ability to meet diverse community needs by exposure to a wide range of diversity among the faculty and students, and through diverse clinical experiences.
  • The profession and the community is best served by the maintenance of diverse education pathways to nurse-midwifery certification. We are committed to our certificate, Master of Science and three year RN to MS options.
  • The core of midwifery education and clinical experiences are best taught, and guided by teachers who are themselves clinicians and who adhere to established standards of practice.
  • The education of midwives is enhanced by an interdisciplinary approach that reflects the talents, resources, and complexity of the health care arena. This is articulated by administrative placement of the midwifery educational program within the UCSF Schools of Nursing and Medicine and geographically with the Nurse-Midwifery Service of San Francisco


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