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ERNESTINE WIEDENBACH Her Professional Legacy


  • Susan Nickel CNM, MSN,

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    • Susan Nickel, CNM, MSN, is a nurse-midwifery graduate of the master's program in nursing, University of Miami, and is a member of a private CNM/MD group practice in Boca Raton, Florida.

  • Theresa Gesse CNM, PHD,

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    • Theresa Gesse, CNM, PHD, is an associate professor and director of nurse-midwifery at the University of Miami School of Nursing.

  • Aileen MacLaren CNM, MSN

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    • Aileen MacLaren, CNM, MSN, is a University of Miami nurse-midwifery graduate and assistant clinical professor. She is currently enrolled in doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University.

University of Miami School of Nursing, Royce Building, 1755 NW 12 Avenue, Miami, FL. 33136.


A descriptive, historical research study of the life and career path of Ernestine Wiedenbach was conducted. A productive career spanning five decades included accomplishments in prepared childbirth education, family-centered maternity care, nurse-midwifery education, and nursing theory. Wiedenbach's prescriptive theory of nursing with its focus on “clarity of central purpose” stands out as an important early professional achievement of this practitioner, educator, author, and theorist. It represents one of Wiedenbach's many pioneer contributions to nursing as well as to the foundation of the philosophy and goals of nurse-midwifery practice and education.