Crucial to the advancement of CPMs is educating the public and other health care providers about CPM practice. Ignorance and misconceptions about midwifery care abound in our society. Midwives need to present sessions at national, state, and local conferences that showcase how the midwives model of care can provide better outcomes and save health care dollars. Presenting at MANA will give students and graduates the experience necessary to feel comfortable presenting sessions at conferences in their communities.

For several years now, the Association of Midwifery Educators (AME) has helped midwifery students and recent graduates showcase their research or clinical projects through a special mentoring program.  We help students prepare their abstract, submit it to MANA, and if it’s accepted we help prepare the full proposal.  This year AME will be mentoring up to five midwifery students or recent graduates in order to prepare them to present their research or clinical accomplishments at the 2016 MANA conference in Atlanta, GA October 13-16, 2016.

With the upcoming MANA abstract deadline of January 30, 2016, we ask that administrators, academic directors and faculty identify students or recent graduates who may be interested in this mentorship and have information to share from their research or clinical experiences that would be of interest to midwives or midwifery educators.

The AME mentorship includes:

  • Assistance with preparing an abstract to MANA by January 30, 2016.
  • Submitting the abstract to MANA.
  • If the abstract is chosen for presentation at MANA 2016, assistance with preparing the full session proposal and the conference presentation.
  • Housing support during the conference.  Chosen students or recent graduates will be offered a place to sleep at the AME “house” during the conference.

Please forward this to students who are finishing important research or clinical projects.  Interested students should contact the president of AME, Justine Clegg, for further information:

Phone/text: 305-310-4507

BY December 30, 2015.

Posted in Uncategorized

AME at the MANA Conference 2015

Every fall midwives and birth workers gather together from all over the U.S. and beyond for three days of learning, celebration and renewal at the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) annual conference. This year we convened at the Albuquerque Hotel in Old Town, NM.

Abby Luca, AME’s Administrative Coordinator, shared our accomplishments and plans at the Allied Midwifery Organizations meeting on Wednesday October 14th.

On Thursday we hosted the Educators Day pre-conference. This intimate, interactive day-long event, approved by MEAC for 8 CE hours, explored three topics in depth:

  • Adult learning theory presented by Kim J. Cox, PhD, CNM, FACNM, Assistant Professor of Midwifery at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing.
  • Student assessment and evaluation. Sharon DeJoy, PhD, MPH, CPH, CPM, filled in for our scheduled presenter who was delayed in Hong Kong, Peter G. Johnson, PhD, CNM, FACNM, Director of the Global Learning Office, Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.
  • Ethics and Social Justice in midwifery education, presented by Wendy Gordon, CPM, LM, MPH, Assistant Professor at Bastyr University’s Department of Midwifery.

For those of you who were unable to attend MANA, we plan to make recordings available through Digital Chalk, our online platform for continuing education and professional development for midwifery educators.

In addition to our table in the exhibit hall, AME presented two sessions:

  • Breakout session “AME Presents: Forgotten Midwives – A Better Look at the History of Midwifery.”
    JoAnne Myers-Ciecko and Eve German

    JoAnne Myers-Ciecko and Eve German

    Neva Gerke, LM, CPM, MSM and Eve German, LM, CPM, MSM told stories of Native American, African American, and Japanese American midwives in Washington State that showed how race, class, and privilege contributed to midwifery’s mid-century disappearance from the U.S. healthcare system, not only as the result of a choice to uphold the rising medical field and extinguish traditional healthcare systems, but also due to social and racial discrimination.

  • Plenary session “Direct Assessment and what it means to the CPM credential.” I, along with Mary Lawlor, NACPM Executive Director; Sandra Stewart, MEAC Executive Director; and Ida Darragh, NARM Testing Director, gave an overview of Direct Assessment and Competency Based Education, a report on the US MERA Direct Assessment Task Force meeting in August at Shenandoah University, VA, implications for accreditation, a report on the Midwifery Bridge Certificate, and how this could be leveraged by CPMs in states which do not yet have licensure.

On Sunday, AME hosted our annual member meeting gathered around a lunch table. I gave an overview of AME, a “year in review” highlighting accomplishments and future projects. Mary Yglesia walked us through AME’s revised website. We ended with participants sharing thoughts, concerns and ideas about how to improve midwifery education.


From the left: Wendy Gordon, Abby Luca, Sharon Dejoy (above), Mary Yglesia (below), Justine Clegg

On the days following the MANA conference, we met with members of the NACPM Board to discuss plans for the 2016 Symposium, and held our annual in-person Board meeting to review our strategic initiatives and brainstorm about ways to support midwifery educators.

And that’s where you come into this picture. We welcome your comments and ideas. Did you attend the MANA conference this year?   What did you learn? What special, unforgettable memories will you carry back home with you? I will treasure the chance to hug and catch up with midwives I’ve known for years, the connections I’ve made and the knowledge I’ve gained. We invite you to use this space to share your thoughts and ideas and to help us support midwifery educators. Together we can grow the future of midwifery for our children and grandchildren.

Posted in Uncategorized

Preceptor Satisfaction: Why do preceptors take students?

by Mary Yglesia, Clinical Education Supervisor, Bastyr University Department of Midwifery

At Bastyr University, the Department of Midwifery is very fortunate to have a great deal of resources available to us, and one of those resources is the Department of Institutional Effectiveness. With the skilled assistance of the staff in this department, we created a Midwifery Preceptor Satisfaction Survey and now have two rounds of survey results — one in 2013 and a second in 2015. The purpose of these surveys is to learn more about the motivations of our preceptors, to gauge their interest in professional development as educators and their likelihood of precepting students in the future. Additionally, we wanted to have a baseline of information from which we could measure the effects of different strategic initiatives of the Department, namely paying stipends to some preceptors and hiring a part time staff person whose role is to support the work of our preceptors and cultivate new clinical sites.

In preparing our survey, I looked at previous research in this area. There is a fair amount of information on this topic and a list of very helpful, informative articles on the topic of community preceptors, their satisfaction and motivations can be found on the AME website. One of the most informative articles was “Satisfaction, Motivation, and Future of Community Preceptors: What Are the Current Trends?” (Latessa, Colvin, Beaty, Steiner & Pathman, 2013)

Below are some of the results of our surveys:

Sample size and confidence intervals: In 2013, a total of 33 out of 77 preceptors responded to the survey for a response rate of 42.9%. The response rate in 2015 was larger — 46 out of 76 (or 65%) — but still not sufficient to accurately represent the entire population.

Demographic statistics of the respondents:  In the 2105 survey, 67% of the respondents were over 40 years old, 78% hold a bachelor’s or higher degree, 65% have been practicing for more than seven years (with 24% practicing for more than 21 years!) and 50% have been preceptors for more than seven years.

Overall comparison from 2013 to 2015: An independent t-test was conducted to compare preceptor satisfaction between 2013 and 2015 and there was no statistically significant difference. Because there was no real statistical difference in the two surveys, for the purpose of this article, I will focus on the results of the 2015 survey.


Below are some of the important “take home” messages from our survey:

Midwives are largely motivated by altruism. They teach students because of their connection to the community and their desire to support the profession of midwifery.

When asked what motivates them to serve as preceptors, the top two responses were “giving back to the profession” and “importance of expanding the network of midwife practitioners.” A close third was “enjoyment of teaching.”

What motivates you to serve as a preceptor? (choose all that apply)

Preceptor motivation chart

Preceptors are not relying as much on students to serve as birth assistants as they have in the past. The symbiotic relationship of the traditional apprenticeship model is changing with the increasing use of paid birth assistants. I believe this is positive development in direct-entry midwifery, and anecdotally, I hear that midwives and students feel the use of birth assistants reinforces the roles of the student as learner and the midwife as educator.

Students vs birth asst chart

Preceptors do not identify primarily as educators. This is not a surprise to us at AME. Over the years of attending MANA conferences and asking midwives if they are educators, we have frequently gotten the response, “No, I’m just a preceptor.” In the 2015 survey when asked which terms preceptors identify with the most, the descriptors of an educator are not the top choices.

Identifying terms

Midwives feel more competent as clinicians than educators. This is understandable but presents us with a challenge. Our clinical educators are trained as midwives and their primary responsibility is rightfully for the safety and well-being of their clients. However, we know that a preceptor can make or break a student’s learning experience. It gives the educational community a lot to think about as we create the resources and opportunities for midwives to receive professional development as educators. In our survey, when preceptors were asked to rate themselves on a scale of 0-100 on their competencies, they strongly felt more competence as midwives.

Competency as MW vs preceptor

Preceptors feel that their role is important to students and to the profession, but do not necessarily feel appreciated for their work. When asked to rate their level of agreement with four statements, all but one of the respondents were in “complete agreement” that their roles were important to the students and to the profession. However, when asked about their recognition as a preceptor, there was less agreement.

Recognition stats


The most significant challenges to being a preceptor is by far the time commitment to teach. When asked to pick the top three challenges, the most frequent responses were about time.

Preceptor challenges

Preceptors for our program are mostly satisfied in their role and will most likely continue to take students. When our preceptors were asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 0-100, the average was 76%. When asked how likely they were to continue as a preceptor for Bastyr, 79% were likely or very likely to continue. To me, I see opportunity for us to better support our preceptors and find ways to increase their satisfaction in their work as midwifery educators, which will increase their likelihood to have students in the future.

Most preceptors want help to be better teachers. 92% of respondents in our survey indicated their interest in professional development as midwifery educators.

Preceptor training chart

When asked what type of training preceptors wanted, the responses were varied, but included the following and the top two were the most requested:

  • Online or virtual training modules for ease of scheduling and accessibility
  • Best practices in clinical training and most effective ways to teach clinical skills
  • Practical ways to teach students with different learning styles
  • Workshops on teaching difficult skills and complications (suturing, shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, resuscitation, etc.)


In conclusion, I found that preceptors are highly skilled clinicians, truly interested in being preceptors and desiring of the support and training to be good educators. Intrinsic reasons are the biggest motivators to be teachers but we can offer them better resources and incentives to support them in their critical roles as the shapers of our next generation of midwives.

Bastyr has implemented several incentive programs for our preceptors, and when we repeat this survey in 2017, we hope to see greater preceptor satisfaction. As a community of educators we must invest in the precious resource of our preceptors. Their work is essential to the competence of our future midwives and critical to the health and credibility of our profession.



Latessa, R., Colvin, G., Beaty, N., Steiner, B.D. & Pathman, D.E. (2013). Satisfaction, motivation, and future of community preceptors. Acad Med, 88(8), 1164-70. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829a3689.


Posted in Preceptor Education

Report on Clinical Director Collaboration

by Stacey Walden, LM

Being inspired by the mission of AME to support excellent in midwifery education through connection, collaboration and communication, I have been organizing and facilitating monthly conference calls between the Clinical and Practicum Directors of MEAC schools for the past year and a half. I started a committee with Mary Yglesia of Bastyr University and Sarah Carter of Midwives College of Utah to discuss this idea and come up with a plan. I contacted each MEAC school in the US to determine who would be interested. I was happy to hear that they all were, so I started by sending out a survey to each Clinical/Practicum Director to poll how they handled various aspects of their jobs.

Our first call focused on sharing and discussing the results of this survey. We determined which topics we would cover over the next year and we settled on the meeting dates for a 1.5 hour call once a month.

I wanted each call to be a collaborative effort with everyone having the chance to share their processes about the topic, ask questions, and brainstorm together. The support and relief I felt hearing other women share the same struggles and triumphs about their work sustained me. On each call I learned new techniques for evaluating feedback, trainings relevant to preceptors, different ways to support students, among many other brilliant ideas. Sometimes the calls showed me the ways in which I excelled in my role. Other calls I learned how I can improve my processes. Knowing we all struggle with the same problems motivates us to continue striving to be better.

What do we all love the most? Connecting personally with our students and preceptors, supporting them as they form relationships with each other, hearing their struggles and counseling them on how to find balance within their many roles.

What do we find the most challenging? Providing constructive feedback to preceptors while protecting the anonymity of the student who feels very vulnerable.

In the past year and a half, we have accomplished a lot! We collaborate on ways to satisfy MEAC standards and how to train our preceptors to teach our students effectively. We have brainstormed on ideas to motivate our students to submit clinical experience forms on time and ways to facilitate good communication skills between preceptors and students. We shared ideas on how to encourage preceptors to give feedback to students in a way that will build them up and not break their self-confidence. We’ve shared information about training and policy manuals.

After 11 years at FSTM, it is time for me to slowly step back to allow room for me to midwife full time again. I am ready to pass on my experience to someone else who wants to put the education of midwives first. Returning to my role as a full time midwife feels like a dream come true.

I am so thankful for the relationships I have formed over the years in this profession. Thank you for all you do to further midwifery education!

Posted in Clinical Director Collaboration
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