Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics launches certified nurse-midwifery education program

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:29 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Lisa Randall of Webster City has always wanted to pursue a career in midwifery. That’s why she says she was eager to join UIHC’s First-in-Iowa Nurse-Midwifery Education Program.

While many of the classes take place at UIHC, she already knows her plan is to bring that knowledge back to her home town.

“I started my nursing career 23 years ago and I worked with some amazing midwives for my first nursing experience in Ames at Mary Greeley,” Randall told TV9. “Rural Iowa right now is in desperate need of OB care providers whether it’s an OB-Gyn, midwife, nurse practitioner. So ultimately that is my goal to bring back my degree and work in my local community.”

Nationwide, midwives attend fewer than 10% of hospital births, but in rural hospitals that number is bumped up to 30%. That’s according to a study from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

RNs can now reach that certification through this program. It’s hoped it will improve health care access and maternal health outcomes across the state.

“With midwifery, we can work here like we do at the University in a big practice where we go and do clinic in rural places and the only time patients have to come here is when they have their baby,” said Certified Nurse-Midwife Lastascia Coleman.

And they hope to include those rural areas in the lessons.

“Sometimes there are actual practices out in the rural settings that we’re hoping to partner with in the future so our students can have some critical experiences out in those settings as well,” said Coleman.

UIHC has been working with state of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, and Health Resources and Services Administration to make this program happen.

Classes just started last week.