Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (CNM/WHNP)

Important Notice

The dual program of study for the Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (CNM/WHNP) sunsetted admissions as of fall 2022. All Master of Science and Post-Master's applicants who are applying for admission in the future, including for fall 2023 admission, will be applying to a dedicated nurse-midwifery specialty.


Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, the United States has higher rates of maternal and infant mortality compared to many countries that use midwifery as their primary model of care. Studies have indicated that midwife-attended births have lower cesarean birth rates, higher breastfeeding rates and lower NICU admission rates.

Nurse-midwives provide primary care to childbearing individuals in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings including hospitals, homes and birth centers. They provide care that is informed by a core beliefs in patient autonomy and the importance of supporting physiologic processes, including birth.

Graduates of our nurse-midwifery specialty are also eligible to sit the national board examination to be certified as a women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP). [Note: Beginning Fall 2023, the WHNP dual specialty will no longer be offered. The specialty will be nurse-midwifery only.] A WHNP is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education with a focus on the primary health care needs of women across the life cycle, with emphasis on conditions unique to women from menarche through the remainder of their lives. The specialty is dedicated to increasing service to vulnerable and underserved individuals and families. We adhere to the philosophy of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), but our unique specialty values are captured by the specialty's own mission, philosophy, purpose and objectives, which we encourage all applicants to review prior to applying.

Certifications and Licenses

Students who complete this specialty are eligible for the following certifications:


  • California Board of Registered Nursing, Nurse-Midwife certificate
  • California Board of Registered Nursing, Nurse-Midwife Furnishing certificate
  • National Board certification by American Midwifery Certification Board as a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (for cohorts entering no later than fall 2022)* 

  • California Board of Registered Nursing, Nurse Practitioner certificate
  • California Board of Registered Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Furnishing certificate
  • National Board certification by the National Certification as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC)

*Note: Beginning fall 2023, the WHNP dual specialty will no longer be offered. The specialty will be nurse-midwifery only.

View the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) exam passage rates as well as the graduation rates for this specialty.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

For Master's and Post-Master's Students
Is RN experience required? An RN license is required when applying to the Master of Science or Post-Master's Certificate programs. However, the nurse-midwifery specialty does not require prior RN experience as a labor and delivery nurse or other nurse. The specialty is primarily focused on training nurse-midwives. We strongly encourage applicants to gain exposure to both nurse-midwifery practice and birth prior to applying.
Other admissions requirements specific to this specialty

Strong applications in the review process reflect:

  • a clear understanding of the nurse-midwifery role and profession
  • the intention and interest in learning to be a birth attendant
  • a demonstrated commitment to health equity and addressing health disparities
  • a demonstrated commitment to working with underserved and/or vulnerable populations, including applicants from marginalized communities
  • demonstrated thoughtfulness in why the UCSF program fits your professional goals

To be considered for admission, all Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP applicants that pass an initial application screening process will be asked to attend an in-person interview in early/mid-March. More information will be provided after initial screening.

Applicants may reach out to the School of Nursing Director of Outreach and Recruitment for admissions and goal statement advice.

    Application deadline Feb. 1, 2023


    Clinical rotations include antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, gynecology, family planning, and newborn care. Our clinical preceptors are skilled and knowledgeable providers who volunteer their time to teach.

    • Most clinical rotations are throughout the greater Bay Area and may not be accessible by public transportation; access to a car is necessary.
    • The final quarter of this program is a full-scope, 10-week clinical rotation. Many members of the class will be assigned to an integration site away from the Bay Area, which may require temporary relocation.
    • Many of our clinical care sites have high numbers of monolingual Spanish-speaking patients. Spanish-language skills will make a difference in patient care and your learning experience; we strongly encourage strong Spanish-language ability.
    • Our clinical rotations include nights and weekends (e.g. L&D).
    • It is part of the role of nurse-midwives to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. Our program includes required competencies in abortion and contraception, and there may be optional rotations in abortion care.

    Review the sample curriculum for this specialty. Please note that courses are subject to change.

    Post-Master's Certificate Program

    Post-Master's students typically require 6 to 7 quarters to complete the program. Contact the specialty coordinator for consultation on an individualized post-master's curriculum.

    Learn more about our Post-Master's Certificate Program, including how to apply. (Please note that post-master's applicants do not need to fulfill a statistics requirement.)


    The Nurse-Midwifery specialty at UCSF is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1230, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374. For information about accreditation, please contact ACME directly. Tel: 240-485-1803, [email protected],


    Ifeyinwa Asiodu, PhD, RN
    Cynthia Belew, MS, RN, CNM
    Amber Bell, MS, RN, CNM
    Kim Q. Dau, MS, RN, CNM
    Vanessa Evers, NP, CNM

    Contact Us

    Director: Kim Q. Dau, MS, CNM, FACNM
    [email protected]