Mayo Clinic and U of M announce new pathway program for training nurse-midwives

Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

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Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing are collaborating to create a new academic pathway for nurse-midwives that will expand the nurse-midwifery workforce in the Upper Midwest.

The collaboration creates a pathway for students admitted to the University of Minnesota School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program to complete the approximately 1,000 hours of required clinical training at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This includes Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and Albert Lea.

The program is open to nurses who work within and outside of Mayo Clinic. The application process will begin in August of this year, with the program starting in the fall of 2024. Virtual information sessions are planned for July 11, Aug. 9 and Sept 11. For more program information and to apply, visit

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“Mayo Clinic expects a significant expansion of midwifery services across the Midwest over the next decade,” says Miri Levi, DNP, CNM, MBA, director of midwifery services at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “This collaboration with the University of Minnesota facilitates the recruitment, training and hiring of the next generation of midwives across rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

“The U.S. is facing a maternal mortality and morbidity crisis that is particularly affecting rural areas,” says Judith Pechacek, DNP, RN, CENP, assistant dean of the Doctor of Nursing Program at the University of Minnesota. “Through this collaboration, we will educate and train nurse-midwives to meet the reproductive needs of women both regionally and across the nation.”

Courses will be taught by University of Minnesota faculty as well as Mayo Clinic-certified nurse-midwives, who hold adjunct faculty positions with the School of Nursing. The program’s hybrid-by-design structure maximizes education while offering flexibility.

The University of Minnesota was ranked No. 6 nationally in the 2023-2024 ranking of Doctor of Nursing Practice programs by U.S. News & World Report. Its nurse-midwifery specialty was No. 2 nationally the last time the publication ranked midwifery programs.

Mayo Clinic was named the No. 1 hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for 2022-2023, the seventh consecutive year that it has been ranked No. 1. Mayo Clinic provided care for about 1.3 million people from nearly 130 countries in 2022. Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, one of five schools in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, has more than 1,600 active students and 480 faculty members. The school offers degree programs and training opportunities for those pursuing healthcare careers.

The collaboration between the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and the Mayo Clinic Department of Nursing dates back to 2002 when the school first began educating Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in Rochester. In 2022, the two institutions formalized an academic-practice partnership to further engage nursing faculty, nursing staff and nursing students in the development of strategies to enhance nursing education, research and practice.

“We are seeking new ways to engage learners to build the workforce of the future,” says Leah McCoy, DNP, CNM, incoming nurse-midwifery program director at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. “This collaboration will offer an innovative pathway for nurses interested in pursuing a career as a midwife, especially if they would like to practice in more rural areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin.”