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

Important Notice

Starting Fall 2023, the nurse-midwifery Master of Science and post-master's specialty cohorts will be solely dedicated to nurse-midwifery and the WHNP dual certification will no longer be offered as a part of the specialty. Master's Entry Program in Nursing applicants applying in 2021 (MEPN entry in Summer 2022) will be applying to a dedicated nurse-midwifery specialty and not a dual nurse-midwifery/WHNP.


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? No. 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 February 1, 2022
    For Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) Students  
    Does this specialty admit MEPN students? Yes. MEPN application deadline: Sept. 10, 2021 (see MEPN program page for how to apply) 


    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.

    • Both overnight and weekend shifts should be anticipated during intrapartum clinical rotations.
    • Clinical rotations are throughout the greater Bay Area and may not be accessible by public transportation, so access to a car is necessary.
    • Clinical placements are made in large hospital systems, small community hospitals, birth centers, community clinics, federally qualified health centers, etc. We do not currently offer rotations in home birth settings.

    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
    Emily Beck, MS, RN, CNM
    Cynthia Belew, MS, RN, CNM
    Kim Q. Dau, MS, RN, CNM
    Rebekah Kaplan, RN, MS, CNM
    Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN

    Contact Us

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