Course Schedule

Each module in the midwifery program is completed in one month.  The knowledge gained in each module provides the foundation for the next module’s learning activities.  There are thirty-seven required modules and an Integration Phase.

Student Orientation is held during the first day of the first module in order to acquaint incoming students with the program.  New students meet with faculty, administrators, graduates and students from other cohorts to learn first-hand about what they may expect from their experience with the Nizhoni midwifery program.  Students are encouraged to bring a copy of this Catalog to the Orientation, along with any questions they may have.

1. Foundations of Midwifery  (24 didactic hrs)

An introduction to the Midwives’ Model of Care, setting the context for professional midwifery practice.  Students consider the sociopolitical ramifications of contemporary midwifery while examining global, national and local professional issues.  Students explore the contributions of modern midwives to current midwifery practice.

2. Introduction to Medical Terminology  (24 didactic hrs)

Learn basic medical and midwifery terminology as a valuable means of creating commonality, mutual understanding and professionalism between health care providers.

3. Practice Documentation  (24 didactic hrs)

Introduction to legal and ethical guidelines for documentation of midwifery care.  Students apply medical terminology to midwifery practice with simulated charting exercises.  Informed consent is introduced as the context of care for the midwife-patient relationship.

4. Communication Skills  (24 didactic hrs)

Communication, education and counseling skills for midwifery practice with attention to learning styles, social styles, cultural competency and communication skills as applied to midwifery settings.

5. Introduction to Midwifery Skills  (24 didactic hrs)

Universal precautions, aseptic technique and basic midwifery skills with application to practice in clinical settings.

6. Foundations of Reproductive Science  (24 didactic hrs)

Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology
Ethical Considerations in Reproductive Health
An overview of reproductive anatomy and physiology with application to well-woman gynecologic care.

7. From Conception to Birth (24 didactic hrs)

An introduction to genetics, fetal development and teratogenic complications of pregnancy with applications for pre-conceptional counseling and midwifery practice as well as referral to perinatal providers.

8. Introduction to Microbiology for Midwives (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

An introduction to basic microbiology and laboratory skills with application to midwifery and well-woman healthcare.

9. Complete Health Assessment  (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

Students learn to take a detailed midwifery and medical history, evaluate histories from other health care providers and perform a complete physical examination in a clinical setting.

10. Well-Woman Care  (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

Students learn to perform a well-woman exam, including Pap tests and vaginal cultures.  Evaluation, treatment, and referral of sexually transmitted infections.

11. Nutrition in Pregnancy  (24 didactic hrs)

The impact of nutrition on pregnancy, including prevention of complications such as preterm labor, anemia, pre-eclampsia and abruptio placenta.  Emphasis is placed on research on the impact of nutrition on perinatal outcomes and long-term women and infant health.

12. Diagnostic Testing in the Childbearing Year I  (24 didactic hrs)

A survey of laboratory testing in pregnancy and introduction to the use of these tests to improve pregnancy outcomes.

13. Diagnostic Testing in the Childbearing Year II  (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

The uses of obstetrical and perinatal technologies in midwifery care.  Students learn to select appropriate diagnostic tools during pregnancy and ways to use them to improve maternal and infant outcomes. Students learn phlebotomy skills.

14. Prenatal Care I  (24 didactic hrs)

Develop critical thinking skills relative to facilitating health during pregnancy, provision of midwifery care and treatment of common complaints during the normal pregnancy, including risk assessment.

15. Prenatal Care II  (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

Clinical skills involved in the provision of prenatal care.  Students learn about the unique value of the home visit and explore the psychosocial impact of abuse issues relative to pregnancy, birth and perinatal outcomes.

16. Complications of Pregnancy I  (24 didactic hrs)

Recognition and treatment of pregnancy complications from conception to 28 weeks gestation.

17. Complications of Pregnancy II (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

Recognition and treatment of pregnancy complications from 28 weeks gestation to term.

18. Assessment of Fetal Well-Being  (18 didactic hrs, 6 hrs practicum)

Low- and high-tech approaches to the assessment of fetal well-being and develop appropriate guidelines for referral in the presence of complications.

19. Normal Labor and Birth  (24 didactic hrs)

Students learn the significance of neurohormonal pathways relative to labor and common variations in normal childbirth.

20. Intrapartum Care I  (24 didactic hrs)

Students learn skills to assist in supporting the woman in labor and are introduced to the practices, skills and attributes necessary to assist a primary midwife during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period. Introduction to primary midwifery care during labor, birth and the immediate postpartum period.  Evaluation of fetal heart tone patterns in labor.

21. Pharmacology I:  American Herbal Pharmacology  (12 hrs didactic, 12 hrs practicum)

Traditional American herbal pharmacology with applications to women’s health.

22. Pharmacology II:  Homeopathy for Midwives  (12 hrs didactic, 12 hrs practicum)

The history and foundation principles of homeopathic practice.  Techniques for acute prescribing in the context of midwifery care of mother and infant are discussed and case studies are provided.

23. Pharmacology III:  Intro. to Traditional Chinese Medicine  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

An introduction to the basic theory and philosophy of Chinese medicine and acupressure with applications to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.

24. Pharmacology IV:  Intro. to Allopathic Pharmacology (18 hrs. didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

Allopathic treatment of problems during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.  Case studies are provided.  Students learn correct technique for injectable medications.

25. Pharmacology V:  Intravenous Therapy for Midwives  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

The applications of basic chemistry to fluid and electrolyte balance.  Correct selection and use of intravenous fluids during labor, birth and the postpartum periods.  Didactic content satisfies the requirements for Intravenous Therapy certification standards for midwifery practice in California and other states.

26. Intravenous Skills Practicum  (12 hrs didactic, 12 hrs practicum)

Learn and practice techniques for starting an intravenous infusion.  This practicum satisfies the requirements for Intravenous Therapy Certification standards for midwifery practice in California and other states.

27. Intrapartum Care II  (24 didactic hrs)

The treatment of complications of labor and birth, including prolonged and dysfunctional labor, non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns, problems involving the umbilical cord, meconium staining, and the special needs of clients planning a vaginal birth after cesarean section.

28. Intrapartum Care III  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

Comprehensive overview of the treatment of complications of labor and birth, including breech births, shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, treating shock, recognition of placental abnormalities, and hospital transfer.  Simulations assist in integrating theory with practice.

29. The Postpartum Period  (24 hrs didactic)

The normal postpartum course and recognition and treatment of postpartum complications with application of appropriate practice guidelines.

30. Perineal Integrity and Repair  (12 hrs didactic, 12 hrs practicum)

A comprehensive overview of the anatomy of the female pelvis.  Recognize degrees of laceration and practice techniques of perineal repair for first and second degree lacerations.  The appropriate and timely use of episiotomy is discussed.  Review sterile technique, learn selection of appropriate equipment and sutures, administration of local anesthesia, and practice the use of instruments, throws and hand and instrument ties.

31. Care of the Normal Newborn  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

Recognize the signs of normal newborn transition and learn effective practices for stabilizing a baby following birth.  Learn to perform a complete newborn physical examination.  Care of the infant during the postpartum period and genetic screening guidelines pursuant to California Code of Regulations Title 17 are also addressed in this module.

32. Complications of the Neonatal Period  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

Recognize neonatal complications and develop guidelines for treatment and referral of babies with complications to hospital-based providers.  Approaches to dealing with grief if difficult outcomes occur.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification course (sections I-IV) is offered to participants who do not hold current NRP certification.

33. Infant Feeding  (24 didactic hrs)

An introduction to the intricate maternal-infant physiology of breastfeeding. Establishing and sustaining the nursing relationship, dealing with nursing complications.  Students learn about the global politics of infant nutrition

34. Human Sexuality and Family Planning  (18 hrs didactic, 6 hrs practicum)

Students learn about midwifery care as it relates to human sexuality and family planning and contraception.

35. Midwifery Research  (24 didactic hrs)

Introduction to basic statistical applications for midwifery and medical studies.  Learn to evaluate studies for statistical merit and evidence-based practice.

36. Midwifery and the Law  (24 didactic hrs)

Research the laws relative to midwifery practice in the students’ intended area of practice.  A comprehensive overview of the historical impact of case law on midwifery practice.  Students explore the use of legal and legislative systems as mechanisms for improving the climate of birth locally, nationally and globally.

37. The Midwifery Practice  (24 didactic hrs)

Introductory midwifery business practices, including practice structure, marketing, insurance coding and billing, and tax requirements.

Integration Phase

The Integration Phase allows a student additional time, if needed, to complete graduation requirements, including supervised externship, during which time the student functions as a primary midwife under supervision.  The length of the Integration Phase is a minimum of three months and varies according to the individual needs of the student.