• Holly Powell Kennedy MSN, CNM

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    • Holly Powell Kennedy received her MSN in 1978 from the Medical College of Georgia as a family nurse practitioner. Intrigued by nurse-midwifery while interming as an FNP at the Frontier Nursing Service, she returned later to complete her certificate in 1985 and began nurse-midwifery practice in Rhode Island. She is now a clinical assistant professor in the graduate program in nurse-midwifery and a doctoral student in the College of Nursing at the University of Rhode Island.

Holly Powell Kennedy, MSN, CNM, College of Nursing, White Hall, University of Rhode Island Kingston. R1 02881.


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to discover the experience of the woman cared for by a nurse-midwife. Six variously situated and ethnically diverse women were interviewed about their experience with nurse-midwifery care. Using Colaizzi's phenomenological method, the data were analyzed extracting 151 significant statements that were clustered into nine themes. A picture of the essential structure of the women's experience of nurse-midwifery care unfolded and was returned to them for their comments and confirmation. Women talked about a relationship built on respect, trust, and alliance. It was the nurse-midwife herself, her qualities and behaviors, her concern and caring, and her respect for women that laid the foundation for how the women in this study perceived the experience. Repeatedly, women articulated the respect for their time, their families, their fears, and their need for information. Ultimately, it was this respect from the nurse-midwife that empowered the women to determine and direct their care.