College of Nursing
Nurse Midwifery

Frequently Asked Questions

I have my BSN and am interested in your program, what do I need to apply?

You will find the information about application to the program,application deadline, and other pertinent information at this link at this link:

Do I need to have L&D experience to be accepted into the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at East Carolina University?

L&D experience is preferred but not required. Students who have had no experience in L&D or women's health may be asked to get training as a Doula or enroll in an independent study where they complete intrapartum modules and work with a nurse in L&D to gain some experience.

I am a nursing student and I’m very interested in becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife. What should be my next step after I graduate from nursing school?

It depends on whether you’re graduating with your BSN or ADN. If you’re in an ADN program, you can enter ECU’s RN to BSN program. If you are in a BSN program,you can apply to graduate school at ECU. You will need to work as an RN for at least 1 year before you can be accepted into the midwifery concentration however, during this year you can be in graduate school part time taking core courses pertinent to all graduate students in the College of Nursing.

I’ve been a nurse in L&D for several years and would like to further my career as a Certified Nurse-Midwife. What do I need to do to get into your program?

You will need to apply to graduate school at ECU. This requires an acceptable score on the GRE. You will also need transcripts from all institutions of higher learning, with a GPA of at least 2.5 overall or 3.0 for nursing school, 3 letters of reference from people who know you professionally, ie: nurse manager, MD or CNM, and a 1 page statement of intent which tells us why you want to be accepted into the midwifery education program at ECU. Once all this material is collected, the graduate office will send your packet to the College of Nursing, midwifery concentration. You will then be called for an interview with the midwifery faculty. You will receive a letter of acceptance or rejection with an explanation and if accepted, a plan of study will be developed, with your assistance, to guide you as to what courses to take each semester.

I understand the midwifery education program at ECU is online. How do you teach nurse-midwifery online?

Distance education has become quite popular in university settings as it allows students to remain in their local community while attending school. Our students come to campus 1-4 days, at the beginning of each clinical course, for an orientation where they learn things face-to-face that we can’t teach online. The didactic part of the course is done online with chats done on Blackboard over a week or at the same time on a system that allows everyone to come together at once. Assignments are completed and submitted online. A clinical site is chosen near your place of residence. It may be in the same community or you may need to travel up to 2 hours. We try to find a site that will meet your needs for a particular course.

Is it better to attend an online program or a face-to-face program?

The advantage of an online program is that the student can remain in their local community and continue working part time while they attend school. Another advantage is that students have an extended period of time to participate in chats which allows them time to research a response and create quality posts. It also allows all students time to participate, not just the vocal ones, which is what often happens in face-to-face courses. A disadvantage is the students sometimes feel socially isolated. We try to prevent that from happening by encouraging the students to bond when they come to campus for their face-to-face orientation by eating together and forming study groups. The students are encouraged to divide up the work to share with each other and email or "skype" each other often.

I have a baccalaureate degree in something other than nursing and am interested in becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife. What steps do I need to take to be accepted into your program?

East Carolina University has an accelerated BSN program in the College of Nursing which prepares the graduate to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam after one year of study. Once you graduate and obtain a nursing job (preferably in labor & delivery), you may apply to graduate school in the nurse-midwifery concentration. You are required to have one year of nursing experience prior to starting the midwifery clinical courses. It is possible to get this experience while attending the core courses in the graduate program at the College of Nursing.

I already have a master’s in nursing(MSN) but would like to be certified in midwifery. How does that work in your program?

We do have a post graduate course in midwifery where you can bypass the core courses which are required for your MSN and just take the courses pertinent to midwifery. You must have a minimum of 22-38 semester hours to complete a post master’s degree. You will need to discuss your situation with the director of the midwifery education program as you may be able to bypass some of the clinical, depending on your background. Upon graduation from the program, you will be eligible to sit for the certification exam which, upon passing, registers you as a CNM.

How many students do you accept in each graduating class?

We have a cap of 12 students in each graduating class. This number is low due to the difficulty in finding clinical sites.

Do you accept out-of-state students?

We accept students from NC and SC only due to the difficulty with finding clinical sites and making clinical site visits. If you choose to move to NC you will be charged out-of-state tuition until you have lived within NC for one year.

What is the attrition/graduation rate of students in the nurse-midwifery concentration?

This rate was calculated from 2014 to 2018. Some students do not complete the program due to family, health or financial concerns. A few students choose to transfer to a different concentration to complete their MSN degree. Attrition/graduation Rates for the ECU Nurse-Midwifery Education Program 2014-2018 are demonstrated in the chart below.

Graduating Class Students Enrolled Graduation Rate Dropped from School Transferred to Different Concentration Total Attrition Rate Adjusted Attrition Rate
    Midwifery Total        
2014 15 7/47% 11/73% 4 4 53% 27%
2015 11 8/73% 9/82% 2 1 27% 18%
2016 16 11/69% 12/75% 3 1 25% 19%
2017 14 13/93% 14/100% 0 1 0% 7%
2018 13 10/77% 10/77% 3 0 23% N/A

What is the pass rate on the national board exam for your graduates

Upon successful completion of the nurse-midwifery concentration, the graduates are eligible to sit for the national board exam offered through the American Midwifery Certification Board located at The first-time pass rate for the last 5 years has been between 87.5 and 100%. The second-time pass rate has been 100% (see table below).

Year # Graduates # Taking Exam # Passing on 1st Take # Failed 1st Take # Passed 2nd Take Comments 1st Take Pass %
2014 7 8 8 0 N/A One graduate from the class of 2012 took the exam this year. 100%
2015 8 8 7 1 1 One graduate from the class of 2015 failed the first take. 87.5%
2016 12 12 12 0 N/A All passed on the first take. 100%
2017 13 13 13 0 N/A All passed on the first take. 100%
2018 10 10 10 0 N/A All passed on the first take. 100%

What is the ratio of full time to part time students?  What is the ratio of MSN to Post Masters Certificate Students?

The majority of midwifery students are in the MSN program full time which allows them to continue working.  The chart below demonstrates these rates.

Graduating Class Students Enrolled Part Time #/% Full Time #/% MSN #/% Post Masters Certificate
2014 7 6/85.7% 1/14.3% 6/85.7% 1/14.3%
2015 8 8/100% 0 6/75% 2/25%
2016 12 12/100% 0 10/83.3% 2/16.6%
2017 13 13/100% 0 13/100% 0
2018 10 10/100% 0 8/80% 2/20%