For more than 20 years, the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health (JMWH) has been dedicated to offering continuing education that will update readers on the latest content in the field and expand their knowledge and skills. The Journal's Home Study Program was launched in 1989 with a 2-part series on AIDS. Later, the Home Study Program title changed to special continuing education issues, and publishing single articles with continuing education was initiated. The JMWH continuing education offerings have covered diverse topics as evidenced by just the theme issues from the past 5 years, which focused on intrapartum care, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, infectious disease, the effects of violence and trauma on women's health, antepartum care, normal birth, nutrition, and pharmacology.
The Journal currently has 2 continuing education theme issues per year in May/June and November/December as well as occasional single-article continuing education opportunities in other issues. Until 2011, readers who wanted to obtain continuing education units (CEUs) from the Journal had to complete a paper test and mail or fax it and a form to the Journal offices before proof of completion could be obtained. The usual turnaround time to receive a CEU certificate is within 4 weeks, though expedited processing is available for a fee. One year ago, JMWH launched a continuing education Web site, http://www.jmwhce.org, to facilitate a faster, more convenient process. To purchase CEUs online, you must set up a user name and password then log in to purchase tokens for CEUs by credit card. Once you have purchased your tokens for a theme issue, you can take the associated test and complete the participant evaluation. After test and evaluation completion, you will be automatically e-mailed a certificate of completion. In addition, test takers can log in to the CEU site at any time to download a PDF of their earned certificates. The CEU Web site offers readers the advantage of having their certificates immediately available via the CEU site rather than having to wait to receive them by mail.
Many certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) are seeking new options to receive CEUs now that all CNMs/CMs are required to participate in the American Midwifery Certification Board's Certificate Maintenance Program (CMP). Each of the Journal's continuing education theme issues contains the 2.0 CEUs (20 contact hours) needed for the 5-year certification cycle. I hope you will consider obtaining your CEUs through JMWH if you are not doing so already. Currently the CEUs for both of the 2011 theme issues on pharmacology are available online as well as the CEUs for this issue, which is the first in a 2-part series on gynecology.
When it came time to choose the theme for this year's continuing education issues, the 2010 reader survey provided a clear choice. I have been delighted with the scope and quality of manuscripts that were submitted for this gynecology series. This first issue begins with articles on vulvar dermatologic disorders1 and vulvodynia,2 which are challenging conditions for women and clinicians. These articles are accompanied by related Share with Women patient education handouts on vulvar care and vulvodynia, which I hope will be valuable resources for you and your patients. The remainder of the issue covers a wide variety of conditions encountered in gynecologic care. I hope you will find the articles in this issue valuable for your clinical practice, teaching, or research. I also hope this year's theme issues will remind us what comprehensive gynecology services midwives are providing. One of the biggest misconceptions about CNMs/CMs is that the care we provide is limited to pregnancy and birth. It is important for CNMs/CMs to continue to promote that we are clinicians who are with women for a lifetime and are an excellent choice for women seeking gynecologic care.
Looking forward, the JMWH editors are now soliciting manuscripts for our 2013 continuing education issues, which will focus on health education and promotion. We invite submissions that address optimizing women's health and reproductive health outcomes and are open to a broad range of topics. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in submitting a manuscript.
Our goal is to develop high-quality continuing education offerings that meet the educational needs of the JMWH readers. If you have any comments about our continuing education articles or Web site or suggestions for topics for future continuing education theme issues, please let me know.