Get access

LAY MIDWIFE TO NURSE-MIDWIFE: Perceived Learning Needs and Attitudes Toward the Learning Experience


  • Linda V. Walsh CNM, MPH,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Linda V. Walsh, CNM, MPH, is Assistant Program Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a B.S.N. from the University of Connecticut and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. She is completing doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is investigating urban midwifery practice in the early twentieth century.

  • Ann Lynn Jaspan CNM, MSN

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Ann Lynn Jaspan, CNM, MSN, has a private nurse-midwifery practice that offers home and hospital birth options. She holds a B.S.N. from Gwynedd-Mercy College and an M.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania. She came into nurse-midwifery as an experienced lay midwife.

Nurse-Midwifery Program, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096.


This descriptive study was designed to identify the perceived learning needs of students with midwifery experience who enter nurse-midwifery education programs. Instruments were developed to gather data from nurse-midwifery educators and CNMs who had been experienced lay midwives (LM/CNMs). Results indicate that LM/CNMs and educators recognize the importance of identification of knowledge and skills gained before entering the educational program, but a variety of factors inhibit the implementation of creative, individualized curriculums. Issues related to nurse-midwifery education, including identification of valid knowledge and the reed for a midwifery rather than obstetric model of teaching, are discussed.