Mission, Philosophy, Purpose and Objectives

The full faculty originally wrote the Program’s philosophy, purposes and terminal objectives in November 1989. They were revised in February 1994, November 2001 and July 2017. We adhere to the philosophy of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and our unique vision for midwifery education is captured here. In addition to those stated below, this program is also committed to the mission and goals of the UCSF School of Nursing.


The Mission of the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP Program at the University of California, San Francisco:  


To improve the health of all people that we serve, through the education and preparation of diverse nurse-midwives and women’s health nurse practitioners as exceptional clinicians, leaders and change agents.






We believe that midwives bring exceptional care and expertise that is core to well-being of communities worldwide. Midwifery care is safe, satisfying, economical and supported by robust evidence. Midwives advocate for a supportive climate where people can make fully informed autonomous choices. The practice of midwifery is based on a health promotion model and interdependent collaborative practice; this system emphasizes dynamic team functioning that values the complementary contributions that each health profession brings to the care of a client. We are uniquely positioned to be change agents for the betterment of the individuals, families and communities we serve.



The midwifery faculty commit to educate through principles of humility, generosity of spirit and welcoming of individual strengths and differences. We believe that a partnership with students wherein the students are recognized for their depth of experience and valued perspective helps both parties mutually grow, becoming better practitioners and community members. We create a transparent, curious, and respectful learning environment in which expectations are clearly communicated, as we believe this fosters a secure and dynamic space for learning. We place the continued diversification of faculty members and the student body at the forefront, because diversity is core to our development as a program. Through teaching and example, we nurture an enthusiasm for becoming and remaining a lifelong learner. Faculty are dedicated to being exceptional practitioners, educators and mentors, responsive to today’s rapidly changing educational and clinical environments.



As midwives we comport ourselves with integrity and professionalism. We are committed to the continued fostering of a profession that treats each other with respect and inclusivity. We believe that our patients are best served by a diverse group of midwives and that diversity within the profession lifts the greater community. We strive to provide an accessible, equitable and supportive education to a broad population. The education of midwives should enhance their future ability to meet varied community needs by exposure to a wide range of thought, background, and experience.



The UCSF nurse-midwifery program believes that education and clinical practice must always be guided by core principles of integrity and ethics. We believe faculty and students must confront and change institutionalized biases, whether in the healthcare environment or learning environment. We believe that respectful health care is grounded in active promotion of equal human rights, including sexual and reproductive health justice, especially for groups that are oppressed, marginalized, and/or disenfranchised.



The purpose of the UCSF Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP Education Program is to:                  

  1. Prepare safe beginning practitioners who are eligible for certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing, the American Midwifery Certification Board, and the National Certification Corporation, and whose knowledge and skills reflect the core competencies for nurse-midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioners, as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and National Practitioners of Women’s Health.
  2. Prepare nurse-midwives and women’s health nurse practitioners to provide high quality patient-centered full spectrum reproductive and primary care to all persons with varied psychosocial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, with a specific focus on addressing structural barriers to health to improve health equity for disenfranchised populations.
  3. Improve the health care system and the lives of the people that we serve through clinical practice, education and the application of sound research.
  4. Involve faculty and students in initiatives that promote midwifery on a local, state and national level.




Upon completion of the UCSF Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP program, the graduate will be able to:


  1. Utilize the nurse-midwifery management process to manage all conditions within the nurse-midwifery scope of practice as defined by the ACNM, and within the current California state scope of practice for nurse-midwives, including both statute and regulation.
  2. Manage all conditions within the WHNP scope of practice, as defined by NPWH, and within the current California state scope of practice for nurse practitioners, including both statute and regulation.
  3. Incorporate principles of patient autonomy through practice of shared decision making and patient centered care, utilizing skilled communication.
  4. Apply frameworks of ethics, human rights, structural competency and cultural humility in the equitable care of all people, but especially disenfranchised populations.
  5. Apply knowledge of health indicators, health care policies, quality assurance and quality improvement practices to advocate for, lead and affect change in health care systems.
  6. Utilize skillful communication, collaboration and consultation with members of an interprofessional healthcare team.
  7. Critically analyze, interpret and apply research findings into evidence based clinical practice.


Approved July 2017 by the UCSF Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP Program Specialty Faculty