Evidence-informed Practice, MANA 2016, NARM Job Analysis & More!

Enhancing Research Literacy: A Resource for you

As we welcome the autumn season, we share with you an exciting new resource to help you achieve excellence as a midwifery educator: Introducing Achieving Competency in Evidence Informed Practice (EIP) – A Resource Guide for Educators!

The Project to Enhance Research Literacy (PERL) has developed a resource guide to advance understanding of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health’s (ACIH) competency in EIP that includes examples an educator might draw from and modify to fit a specific program or course. The guide is available through the PERL website. Take short a video tour or access the full guide here.

AME represents midwifery educators on the ACIH Board of Directors, and is proud to have contributed to this project. Evidence-informed practice rests on the triad intersection between the best available research, clinical expertise, and client context. Learn more about accessing health sciences literature, critical appraisal of the literature, applying research to practice, and—most importantly—how to teach these areas to students by using the FREE EIP Resource Guide for Educators! You will find learning objectives, readings, multimedia materials, vignettes, and much more to help you on your educator journey.

MANA session on evidence-informed practice

Are you going to MANA this year? Make sure to attend a special breakout session on Evidence-informed Practice at MANA 2016! AME’s Dr. Courtney Everson, in collaboration with April Kline and Shannon Anton, will be presenting a 90 minute session called “Walking the Labyrinth: Research Literacy, Evidence-Informed Practice, and Shared Decision-Making”. This session is geared towards midwifery educators – we encourage you to attend!

AME will be represented at MANA 2016 in a variety of other ways as well!

  • When you check in at the MANA Table, be sure to also pick up your AME Educator ribbon! Remember: preceptors are educators, administrative staff are educators, academic faculty are educators. Help us spread the word on the importance of excellence in midwifery education and take pride in your role as an educator by wearing your AME Educator badge ribbon at MANA!
  • AME lunch gathering for educators: On Saturday during lunch, we will have a couple of tables reserved in the back of the lunch area for AME. Come sit with us and chat with fellow educators. Board Member Courtney Everson will be there to greet you (with AME Educator ribbons in tote!)
  • AME is proud to have sponsored and mentored two students to present at MANA 2016! Come learn from them: Gengi Proteau (Midwives College of Utah) presents on “Fetal Distress, Shoulder Dystocia, and the Fetal Vagus Nerve” and Kelsey Scherer (Birthwise) presents on “Oral Vitamin K Supplementation of the Newborn and the Prevention of Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding: An Evidence-Based Update for Midwives”.

NARM Job Analysis Survey – deadline October 9th

AME strongly encourages you to participate in the 2016 NARM Job Analysis! If you are a CPM, you should have received a notice (with reminders) from NARM with your personal survey link. The deadline for taking the survey is October 9th. What issues and competencies are important to you as educators? Make sure those are represented in the NARM Job Analysis! In particular, AME encourages you to push for competencies in evidence-informed practice & research fluency as well as anti-oppression & cultural humility in midwifery care. This is your chance to help influence the midwifery profession!

Board Elections

Stay tuned for a special email on upcoming Board elections. An electronic vote will take place for AME members in October. We are excited for the candidates on the ballot and hope you are too!

Onward and upward, educators!



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Join Our Board!



Board of Directors


The Association of Midwifery Educators is soliciting nominations to the Board of Directors for two year terms starting fall 2016. Self-nominations are welcome. If nominating another person, please make sure they are willing to be placed on the ballot. Nominations will close on Monday August 22, 2016.

AME believes that education is the very foundation of a healthy and thriving midwifery profession. For 10 years now AME has worked tirelessly to support excellence in midwifery education through connection, collaboration and communication. Midwifery educators need the resources to train the professionals of the future and it is our mission to provide them with this support.   Some of our proud accomplishments include:

  • AME website offering numerous valuable resources for educators
  • Annual educator workshops at MANA
  • Preceptor as Educator online professional development series
  • Online provider of continuing education for NACPM webinars
  • Co-presenter with NACPM of CPM Symposium 2012
  • Member of Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) (formerly ACCAHC)
  • The Clinical Directors Collaboration, a monthly meeting of school clinical directors

AME is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) member organization. Our bylaws require that our members elect the Board of Directors.   To learn more about AME, visit our website at www.associationofmidwiferyeducators.org and click on “About us.” Consider nominating yourself or someone you believe would be a good leader in midwifery education. Interested persons must join AME to be included on the ballot.

Term:  The Elections Committee of AME is inviting nominations for a two-year term beginning Fall 2016, with the possibility of additional terms.

Expectations: Board members are volunteers and are required to attend regular board and committee phone conference call meetings, attend an annual, in-person board meeting usually scheduled around the national MANA conference, and participate in the work of AME. Board members can expect to donate 8-10 hours per month to AME board work. Directors do not receive any salary for their services, but by resolution of the Board of Directors, the expenses of attendance, if any, may be allowed for attendance at each regular or special Board meeting.


  • Educator in midwifery or related health professions. An educator would include academic faculty and clinical instructors or preceptors.
  • Member of AME (join at www.associationofmidwiferyeducators.org)
  • The knowledge, skills and passion for the work of supporting midwifery education in a changing political, cultural and social landscape.
  • Commitment to the work of undoing racism in midwifery education.
  • Current or former midwifery licensure (CPM, CNM or state licensed) is highly desirable.
  • Exceptions to the above requirements may be made for applicants with skills specific to the needs of AME to meet its strategic initiatives.

Membership: Membership is open to all who value midwifery education – midwives, educators, consumers, supporters and educational institutions. Annual dues:

  • Individual member: Midwifery program faculty, preceptor, instructor, staff or administration. Cost: $45/year
  • Institutional member: A midwifery program or institution. Cost on a sliding scale:
    • small (1-3 employees) $150/year
    • mid-sized (4-12 employees) $200/year
    • large (13+ employees) $300/year
  • Supporting member: Any individual or organization that supports the work of AME.  Cost: $35/year

To join visit AME’s website at http://www.associationofmidwiferyeducators.org and click on “Join AME Today”.

Election procedure:

  • AME’s administrative coordinator will email a call for nominations to all AME members
  • Any member in good standing may self-nominate
  • Anyone may nominate a member of AME who has agreed to be placed on the ballot
  • The nominee must complete the AME Board of Directors Application form
  • All nominations will be considered for inclusion in the election ballot
  • The Elections Committee will prepare the ballot
  • The Election will take place electronically
  • Each current member will receive the ballot, with timeline and instructions for voting
  • Each individual member shall have one vote. Each institutional member shall have a number of votes proportional to the size of the institutional membership: a small institution – one vote, a mid-sized institution – 2 votes, and a large institution – 3 votes.

To make a nomination: Contact Abby Hall Luca, AME administrative coordinator, at amecoordinator@gmail.com for a Board of Directors Application form.

For further information: Visit the AME website at www.associationofmidwiferyeducators.org or call Justine Clegg, AME President at 305-310-4507 or email justineclegg@gmail.com.

Email completed application to: Sharon DeJoy, PhD, MPH, CPH, CPM at SDeJoy@wcupa.edu.

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Now available on Digital Chalk: Best Practices for Risk Management for CPMs

1.5 continuing education hours approved by MEAC for CPMs

Webinar presented by NACPM

Continuing education provided by AME

This webinar is a MUST for all CPMs to learn about the complex issues of liability and how to be protected in case of a lawsuit or administrative hearing. Even though CPM clients are healthy low risk women, and CPMs provide ongoing oversight during pregnancy and labor, there is still the possibility that complications can arise, resulting in an adverse outcome. Health care practitioners in hospitals are well trained in how to deal with adverse outcomes, especially regarding the client’s medical record. Out of hospital practitioners are well trained to provide timely transport and information to medical personnel, but often unprepared for timely documentation that accurately and thoroughly charts the situation, the midwife’s management and rationale for the care provided. The midwife who is dealing with the emergency transport and the family’s needs may not have time in the moment to thoroughly chart the emergency care she’s giving much less her thought process and rationale for what she did and didn’t do. She might not get back to the chart for days. Then when she goes to accurately document what she did and why, it can look like she’s altered records, making her documentation suspect. How can midwives work with electronic records in a way that protects them legally? We know that charting is the key to legal protection and a midwife who gave excellent care and but didn’t chart it accurately or promptly can be vulnerable to civil suit and administrative discipline.  Protecting oneself from liability is an essential skill for any midwife in the US, especially those providing homebirth and birth center services.

This webinar discusses all aspects of liability as it relates to midwives, including home birth practices and birth center-based practices.  The background of liability, including the difference between criminal and civil liability is discussed, as well as administrative proceedings against a midwife by the state licensing authority and the basic legal theories of negligence.  The presenter reviews many best practices to help minimize liability, including documentation of the medical record; responsibilities as a business owner including additional liability concerns; reviewing processes and action plans; reporting of adverse events to appropriate parties; transporting mothers and/or infants; and collaboration with physicians.  E-Discovery requirements are also discussed to better understand the complexities of lawsuits, along with an examination of past claims, including causes and allegations of lawsuits. The presenter answers questions from the audience but is also available by email for additional questions.

The webinar is presented by David B. Pulley, MSM in RMI, CPCU, RPLU, the Vice President at OneBeacon Professional Insurance since 2012. As VP for long-term care team and lead for new business underwriting, he has assisted with complex risk team and program development of midwife and birth center products. His areas of expertise include professional liability, medical malpractice, underwriting, liability analysis, commercial insurance, legal liability, employment practices liability and Directors and Operators insurance. David holds a masters degree in Risk Management/Insurance from Florida State University College of Business and a bachelors degree in Business Management and Finance from Brigham Young University. He serves as Treasurer and Member of the Board of Governors for the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers.

You can create a free login to Digital Chalk and access all of our courses by clicking here.

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IOM’s A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health


The Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health Presents…


March 9th, 2016
9:00am to 12:00pm EST
Followed by lunch

The National Academy of Sciences
The Lecture Room
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20418

Please note: A Photo ID is required for security purposes.
Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30am

This meeting will be webcast.
Webcast videos and PowerPoint presentations will be archived on the meeting website.

Click here to register to watch the webcast or attend the meeting in person.

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New Waterbirth Research and Resources

Educators – classroom faculty and clinical preceptors – need access to the latest information to make sure midwifery students are well prepared for clinical practice. Two new documents on waterbirth are now making their debut in the midwifery world, with a third due out this spring, which will inform midwives, educators, students and consumers.

The first, Maternal & Newborn Outcomes Following Immersion During Waterbirth: The MANA Statistics Project 2004-2009 by Marit L. Bovbjerg PhD, MS, Melissa Cheyney PhD, CPM, LDM and Courtney Everson MA, PhD, was published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health on January 20, 2016. This article examines data from the MANA Statistics Project 2.0 dataset which included over 18,000 women who gave birth at home and in birth centers with midwives, of which 35% were waterbirths. This is the largest cohort study to-date on waterbirth – examining more than 6,000 waterbirths – and the first large study from the United States. This study finds that being born underwater poses no increased risk of mortality or morbidity to newborns. Babies born in water were no more likely to experience low 5-minute Apgar, neonatal transfer to the hospital, hospitalization or NICU admission in the first six weeks, or neonatal death, when compared to non-waterbirth neonates. For women, waterbirth was not associated with hospitalization in the immediate postpartum period or within the first six weeks, or with maternal infection. However, this study shows that waterbirth did appear to slightly increase the risk of perineal tearing.

Results are congruent with findings from waterbirth studies in other settings, but are contrary to the ACOG/AAP clinical guidelines “Immersion in Water during Labor and Delivery” (ACOG Committee Opinion #594, April 2014) http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Immersion-in-Water-During-Labor-and-Delivery, which acknowledges the safety and potential benefits (i.e., pain management) of laboring in water, but also states that the safety of birthing in water has not yet been established, and thus, these guidelines do not recommend waterbirth. Courtney Everson, AME Board member and co-author of the article, explains that the ACOG/AAP waterbirth guidelines were a primary impetus to this study.

For more information about this article, visit MANA’s blogpost at http://mana.org/blog/Waterbirth-Safe-Babies-New-Research

Thanks to the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, the article is now open source, so midwives, birth workers and clients can freely access it. You can find it here:


The second document, the MANA and CfM Position Statement on Water Immersion During Labor and Birth, is a joint position paper written for a broad audience including midwives and other health care professionals, consumers, and policy makers. It is co-authored by the Midwives Alliance of North America and Citizens for Midwifery. This paper provides an overview of available research and clinical wisdom on waterbirth. With over 80 citations, including Maternal & Newborn Outcomes Following Immersion During Waterbirth by Bovbjerg et al, and information from waterbirth activist Barbara Harper, the position paper

  • discusses the evidence for the safety of water immersion during labor and birth,
  • describes the benefits of water immersion for mother and baby,
  • suggests how these benefits may improve outcomes for families of color,
  • addresses consumer choice and shared decision making,
  • considers client values and individual needs,
  • lists factors that promote safety and success,
  • concludes with a recommendation that supports the use of water immersion during labor and birth, and
  • advises that water immersion for labor and birth should be made available to all birthing families across birth settings.

The MANA and CfM Position Statement on Water Immersion During Labor and Birth is available on the MANA website at http://mana.org/research/current-research-projects/waterbirth.

The authors of the article and the position paper were interviewed for the MANA blog, which you can find here: http://mana.org/blog/Waterbirth-Safe-Babies-New-Research

The MANA position paper complements the existing ACNM position paper “Hydrotherapy During Labor and Birth” (http://www.midwife.org/acnm/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000004048/Hydrotherapy-During-Labor-and-Birth-April-2014.pdf).

The third document is a clinical bulletin that is being drafted by a multi-stakeholder group with midwifery leadership and groundbreaking collaboration. This document will provide clinical guidelines for water immersion in labor and birth that can be used for both in-hospital and out-of-hospital birthing sites. Release is anticipated for this spring.


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Why MEAC Matters

MEAC’s history          

In 1991, a small group of amazingly forward-thinking midwives and midwifery educators met in Flagstaff to talk about advancing US midwifery through education. We called ourselves the National Coalition of Midwifery Educators – NCME. We kicked around the idea of starting our own direct-entry midwifery accrediting organization. It seemed like a monumental undertaking but one which would allow us to define for ourselves the essential components of midwifery education, to create a vehicle to accredit a variety of educational models and to preserve our values. MEAC was born from NCME. I was honored to serve on the first MEAC Board of Directors and I have continued to engage personally in the accreditation process, not only through the experience of securing accreditation and re-accreditation for the Miami Dade College Midwifery Program but also as a site visitor and ARC member, and AME president.

MEAC today

Over 20 years later, MEAC is an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Ten midwifery schools and programs are currently MEAC accredited, some free-standing, others within public or private institutions of higher learning. MEAC accreditation for midwifery schools is required by several states and increasingly graduation from a MEAC accredited program is a prerequisite for obtaining a state midwifery license. MEAC accreditation is included in the US MERA Principles of Model Midwifery Legislation and Regulation. States seeking to license CPMs that include these principles in their licensing bills will have the advantage of national support from ACNM and a verbal agreement from ACOG not to oppose legislative initiatives.

Why accreditation is important

Legislators, educators and policy makers know that national professional accreditation processes are developed by content experts in the field and USDE recognition is the “gold standard” for quality and accountability. Accreditation is a rigorous process that uses MEAC’s curriculum checklist, which incorporates MANA and ICM Core Competencies and NARM requirements for national certification, to look not only at the content of the education provided but also at the quality of the instructors, the financial sustainability of the institution, student services, adherence to state and federal educational regulations, mechanisms to safeguard student privacy, non-discrimination policies, refund policies, student complaint processes, adequacy of clinical placements, support for student success, retention and graduation rates, NARM pass rates, post-graduate employment, and much more. Without the seal of approval of a recognized higher education accrediting body, schools and colleges cannot receive federal funds to offer student financial aid.

MEAC’s standing with USDE

Just like midwifery schools and programs periodically must apply for re-accreditation by MEAC, so must MEAC re-apply for re-accreditation by the USDE. During a recent board of directors meeting, MEAC was observed by a representative of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). She gave us feedback about our process that has made us aware that we need to adjust some of our systems and policies in order to maintain our federal recognition.

In mid-December MEAC is scheduled to come before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) to defend its application for re-accreditation. NACIQI’s job is to recommend which accreditation agencies should be recognized by the US Department of Education. MEAC is not alone in facing this kind of scrutiny by the USDE. However, MEAC is unusual in that it tries valiantly to do so much with so few resources. Most specialized accrediting agencies receive significant funding from their national professional associations. MEAC does not. MEAC tries to hold down the cost of accreditation and sustaining fees so as not to pose too great a barrier to schools. Consequently MEAC is seriously under-funded for the work it needs to do.

Next steps

In spite of these challenges, MEAC is confident that with the right blend of additional resources, counsel and leadership, MEAC can achieve re-recognition with the USDE. They always have in the past. So, what are MEAC’s next steps and what are the financial implications?

In order to proceed with USDE re-accreditation, MEAC needs to:

  • Send a team of 4 people to the hearing in December ($4,000)
  • Engage an attorney to help plan a strategy and defense ($10,000)
  • Purchase accreditation software to demonstrate consistency and proper enforcement ($20,000)
  • Secure more legal/consultant fees to help with board and staff training ($10,000)
  • Increase staff time to deal with preparing our compliance report ($5,000)

Total cost to MEAC ~ $50,000

What each of us can do 

We can each make a personal gift to a fundraising campaign to underwrite these unanticipated expenses. We can reach out to midwives and educators who have been a part of MEAC’s history. We can enlist the support of all who value the essential role MEAC plays in advancing midwifery. MEAC is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization so donations are tax deductible.

MEAC matters

The survival of this agency is critical to the continuing development of the CPM credential!  Thank you for whatever you can do to support MEAC through this crisis.

Use this link to make an online donation: http://meacschools.org/community/donate/

For more information contact:

Tracy Vilella-Gartenmann, Executive Director

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council

1935 Pauline Blvd, Suite 100B

Ann Arbor MI 48103

(360) 466-2080, ext. 1


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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: justineclegg@gmail.com

Phone/text: 305-310-4507

BY December 30, 2015.

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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.

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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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