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Public Health Nursing, Nurse-Midwifery

Collaboration with Shenandoah University

Make an Impact

Promote the health and well-being of women and infants within their families and communities by developing skills as a midwife and public health nurse. Clinical experiences offered in a wide variety of ambulatory and community sites, such as rural and medically underserved healthcare settings, allow you to make an impact on woman and their families at the population level.

Expect Innovation

Immerse yourself into a unique curriculum that includes role development, advanced assessment and management of women's health, and primary women's health throughout the lifespan.  The innovative curriculum designed by the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Public Health, along with the Shenandoah University School of Nursing, can be completed in two years and three months of full-time study. Part-time study is also available.

Take Advantage

Enjoy resources from two institutions during your course of study. Spend your first year at Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus and second year in a distance-education format with Shenandoah University before returning to Johns Hopkins to complete your final semester. Johns Hopkins University will serve as your “home” institution throughout your studies.

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Delivering Women's Health

This program is offered through a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Shenandoah University School of Nursing* in Virginia.

Those who earn a master's degree as a public health nurse and a certificate in nurse-midwifery:

  • Receive a master of science in nursing with a public health focus from Johns Hopkins University and post-graduate certificate in midwifery from Shenandoah University
  • Are legally able to practice in every state, upon certification
  • Are eligible to sit for the national certification exam given by the American Midwifery Certification Board

*The Nurse-Midwifery Program at Shenandoah University is fully accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Accreditation Commission of Midwifery Education (ACME), 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374; Tel: 240-485-1802,,

Public Health Nursing, Midwifery

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Application Deadline

Fall Entry
January 1

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Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam given by the American Midwifery Certification Board

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Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

NLN designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

NCLEX Passing Rate

95% NCLEX Pass Rate

Four Corners

Located adjacent to the top-ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

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Midwife Rachel Marino
Rachel Marino
MSN '11, RN
[Midwives] make healthcare in this country better.

The first time Rachel Marino witnessed a birth, she was impressed to see the Hispanic teen mother "so empowered in her delivery" under the care of a midwife. Witnessing the birth is when Marino knew she wanted to be a midwife, too.

But first she went to West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. She set up birth huts in rural villages, giving the women access to clean, safe birthing equipment.

Read Rachel's Story
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Admission Criteria

  • Bachelor's of Science degree in nursing
  • Scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university
  • Demonstrated commitment to nursing practice and scholarly pursuit
  • Community service and professional commitment
  • Interview with faculty member
  • Written expression of goals
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Applicants must submit evidence of current nursing licensure. Students must have or obtain Maryland RN licensure for matriculation.

Admissions Application


Transfer of Credits

Transfer of credit is granted on an individual basis.

Applicants Who Have Studied Abroad

International applicants and applicants who have completed courses outside of the United States must submit additional information. Learn More

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This is a 63 credit master's option (with 44 credits taken in the PHN track and 19 in the Midwifery track) may be completed in 7 semesters.

Full Curriculum

  • Nursing Core Courses
    • NR.110.500 Philosophical, Theoretical, and Ethical Basis for Nursing
    • NR.110.503 Applications of Research to Practice
    • NR.110.504 Context of Healthcare for Advanced Practice Nursing
    • NR.110.507 Statistical Literacy and Reasoning in Nursing Research
  • Public Health Core Courses
    • PH.180.601 Environmental Health (online)
    • PH.340.601 Principles of Epidemiology
  • Specialty Courses
    • NR.110.502 Physiological/Pathophysiological Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice
    • NR.110.508 Clinical Pharmacology
    • NR.110.536 Health Assessment and Measurement: Adult
    • NR.110.549 Advanced Health Assessment and Measurement
    • NR.110.560 Program Development and Evaluation in Health Care
    • NR.500.601 Theory and Practice of Public Health Nursing Didactic
    • NR.500.602 Public Health Nursing Theory & Practice - Practicum
    • NR.500.604 Population-Based Public Health Nursing Interventions
    • NR.500.605 Public Health Nursing Leadership & Management
    • NR.500.606 Public Health Nursing Leadership, Management, & Evaluation Capstone Program
  • Shenandoah Courses (online)
    • NM.610.XXX Primary Care of Women
    • NM.620.XXX Comprehensive Antepartal Care
    • NM.630.XXX Midwifery Practicum
    • NM.640.XXX Comprehensive Perinatal Care
    • NM.651.XXX Integrated Midwifery Practicum
    • NM.652.XXX Evidence Based Practice Project
    • NM.660.XXX Advanced Midwifery Practicum

View Course Descriptions


Academic Manual

Important policies, procedures, and resources for easy reference.

View Manual

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Tuition & Other Costs

Billed Expenses

(September 2014 - May 2015)

Tuition: $34,8241 (fall & spring does not include summer)
Per credit cost: $1,451
Matriculation fee: $500 (one time only fee for first-time enrolled JHU students)
Health Insurance: $2,8302
Health Fee: $450

Estimated Other Expenses3

Room and Board: $12,294
Books/Supplies: $1,856
Personal Expenses: up to $1,350
Travel Expenses: up to $3,366

1Full-time: 12 credit hours per semester, $17,412.00 per semester
2All students must have health coverage. Purchase of the School’s plan is optional.
3Amounts for other expenses vary based upon student's selection of books, supplies, and living arrangements.

Billed expenses are subject to change without prior notice.

Important Note:  Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Shenandoah University are unable to award federal financial aid to qualified Johns Hopkins students for the 19 credits hours needed for the midwifery certificate at Shenandoah University.   

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Frequently Asked Questions

Midwifery & Public Health Nursing

  • What is a Midwife?

    Both certified midwives (CMs) and certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are recognized by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Johns Hopkins School of Nursing trains CNMs since we accept ONLY registered nurses.  CNMs are independent, licensed healthcare providers in all 50 states.  Like adult, family, pediatric, and acute care nurse practitioners, CNMs have prescriptive authority, perform history and physicals, support normal lifecycle changes and events, diagnose and treat problems, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and provide health maintenance, education, and counseling to clients. While most readily recognized for their role in assisting women through childbearing, many midwives focus on primary, gynecologic, adolescent, sexual health or abortion care.  Essential Midwifery Facts

  • What is a public health nurse?

    Public health nurses are prepared at the baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral levels.  Our program prepares students at the master’s level focusing on population health with a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention through advanced skills and competencies in assessment, design and implementation of programs, and evaluation.  More About Public Health Nursing

  • What pre-licensure program option is best for me?

    Public health and midwifery share deep philosophical roots. Both disciplines consider health and illness as they relate to myriad social determinants of health, policy, and practice issues, and with a focus on supporting normal life cycle processes including but not limited to childbirth and building healthy families and communities.  Our student population typically has experience with and/or a demonstrated commitment to working with underserved populations, often in low-resource settings.  Midwifery is widely recognized as a cost-effective model of care with desirable outcomes for women and children.  Public health, in its essence, is about promoting wellness and improving health outcomes. By combining midwifery and public health nursing, students are better prepared to not only provide individual-focused care but to also recognize and intervene appropriately at a broader systems level to improve maternal/child outcomes.


  • What qualities are you looking for in applicants?

    We are looking for candidates with a strong commitment to both clinical care of individual women and their newborns and to improving population health.  The focus on population health involves advanced public health nursing skills in assessment, the design and implementation of programs and policies, and evaluation.  While some students may have more experience in women’s or public health, successful applicants can readily articulate why this combined program meets their career plans.  Most successful applicants have work, volunteer, or similar experiences that demonstrate a commitment to women’s and/or public health-related issues.

  • What if I have no women’s health, birth, or public health experience?

    It is not a requirement to have prior public health experience. Students enter our program with a range of experiences and have the opportunity to join the school’s Birth Companions program. The program includes a course to prepare you to provide labor support. After taking the course, you can provide labor support services for an hourly wage.  The program serves a diverse client base including a high volume of recent refugee and immigrant women as well as women from East Baltimore and the surrounding communities. 

    If you are obtaining your bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins and plan to transition to the MSN/CNM program, your final baccalaureate clinical rotation (commonly referred to as “Transitions”) should take place in a perinatal setting, typically labor and delivery. This is not always possible, but we work hard to ensure you get an experience that directly contributes to your career as a nurse-midwife and public health nurse.

  • What pre-licensure program option is best for me?

    Public health and midwifery share deep philosophical roots. Both disciplines consider health and illness as they relate to myriad social determinants of health, policy, and practice issues, and with a focus on supporting normal life cycle processes including but not limited to childbirth and building healthy families and communities.  Our student population typically has experience with and/or a demonstrated commitment to working with underserved populations, often in low-resource settings.  Midwifery is widely recognized as a cost-effective model of care with desirable outcomes for women and children.  Public health, in its essence, is about promoting wellness and improving health outcomes. By combining midwifery and public health nursing, students are better prepared to not only provide individual-focused care but to also recognize and intervene appropriately at a broader systems level to improve maternal/child outcomes.

  • What’s the minimum GPA?

    Like all students applying for graduate work, or a baccalaureate program that will continue into a master’s program, we are seeking candidates who have already demonstrated academic success in the basic sciences. The admissions team will be particularly interested in grades in prerequisite science courses like anatomy and physiology (if applying to BS/MSN), and pathophysiology and pharmacology (if applying to MSN/CNM).  If you are accepted as a BS/MSN student, continuation into the MSN portion of the program, either at Johns Hopkins or at Shenandoah University, is contingent on a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, no grades below a B-, no disciplinary or ethical violations, successful completion of your bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing, and passing the NCLEX.


  • How does Hopkins work with Shenandoah to offer a midwifery program?

    Johns Hopkins is one of seven universities participating in Shenandoah’s Midwifery Initiative.  This initiative was launched with the explicit purpose of providing more opportunities for midwifery education.  Johns Hopkins University began its collaboration with Shenandoah University in 2006. Those in our combined Public Health Nursing/Nurse Midwifery program complete their first year of graduate studies on the Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus, then spend their second year as distance students enrolled at Shenandoah University. Finally, students return to finish their program in Baltimore before receiving a degree and sitting for the CNM certification exam.

  • Do I have to move to Shenandoah the second year?
    Shenandoah University is located in Winchester, Virginia, approximately three hours west of the Baltimore/DC area.  Students do not move to Shenandoah University during their second year of full-time study—their Shenandoah year—since the program is designed for distance students. However, if you have a particular interest in rural health, it may be an advantage to live closer to Shenandoah’s campus.

    While taking the midwifery courses at Shenandoah University, you will only be on its campus for only one week in the fall semester and one week in the spring semester of your second year of full-time study.  The remainder of the curriculum is disseminated online and through clinical experiences. Shenandoah University’s “high-touch” distance program uses online class case studies, faculty-student conversations, online collaboration platforms, site visits, and more.
  • Most midwifery programs last two years, why do we spend only one year at Shenandoah University?

    The curriculum has been crafted to meet the standards of both universities as well as the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

    Most midwifery and other advanced practice nursing programs last 18-24 months full-time.  All advanced nursing practice students must take the three “Ps” – advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced physical assessment.  Advanced practice nursing programs also share advanced content in research, ethics, and professional issues.  After that, the curriculum focuses on your specific area of interest, in this case midwifery and public health. Your core master’s coursework and public health nursing-specific courses are taken at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Public Health.  Midwifery-focused coursework is completed at Shenandoah University.  While there is only one year of study at Shenandoah University, graduates of our program meet the same curriculum standards as any other credentialed midwifery program.

  • Where will my midwifery clinical sites be located?

    If you are planning to begin as a baccalaureate student and transition to the MSN, clinicals will be at a variety of health settings and facilities in the Baltimore/DC area.  At the graduate level, the same is true. Once students matriculate into the master’s portion of the program, clinical sites will be coordinated by Johns Hopkins University or Shenandoah University, depending on the course.  In all cases, we try to place students in a convenient location. However, there is a lot of competition and students may have clinical sites that are distant from their homes.  

    Shenandoah has an “immersion” midwifery curriculum, which does not require you to travel to class while you are “immersed” in your clinical. This allows you to work at clinical sites all over the U.S. Before entering your midwifery year, Shenandoah University faculty will contact you to begin working on obtaining your clinical sites.  This sometimes takes up to a year. While in your midwifery year, clinical hours will fluctuate. Birth is unpredictable in timing and duration; therefore, beginning in the spring semester of your second year, you will focus on obtaining the most clinical experiences possible.  Once you begin intrapartum clinical (actually delivering babies), the number of experiences is more important than the number of hours in clinical. Although though there are only 6-7 credits per semester in midwifery, this is a very full curriculum. If you have to maintain outside employment during this program, it is recommended that it be part time. 

  • What if I am really only interested in Public Health Nursing?

    If you are not interested in becoming a nurse-midwife, but are committed to Public Health Nursing, we encourage you to explore our MSN in Public Health Nursing or MSN/MPH programs.  Becoming a nurse-midwife is a lifelong commitment, and it would not serve you well to complete the combined program if you are not interested in this clinical role.

  • What advantages are there to this program vs. traditional midwifery programs?

    Most midwifery programs prepare students to become certified midwives/certified nurse-midwives. Similar to other advanced practice nurse practitioners, both are independent care providers.  Our program combines the midwifery skill set with those of a public health nurse.

  • Should I also consider programs that offer a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)?

    This is an individualized choice. Students need to consider what kind of care they want to provide and in what setting.  It is critical to understand that the nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner skill sets overlap.  However, if you want to deliver babies, midwifery is the required training.  Nurse-midwives have the added skills to care for women during delivery and in the immediate postpartum setting. Some WHNP programs provide students with more clinical hours in well-woman gynecologic and primary care settings than midwifery programs.  That is because midwifery students also spend a large number of clinical hours in the labor and delivery settings, which is not true for WHNPs.  Although midwifery is most readily identified with care during birth, many midwives specialize in other areas of women’s health including abortion care, adolescent health, and care of older women.   Both nurse-midwives and WNHPs are considered primary care providers for women. However, unlike WHNPs, midwives are also trained to provide care through labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum care of women and their newborns.

  • How long does it take to complete the program?

    Full-time students can expect to complete the program in two and a half academic years. Students may choose to enroll part time for the MSN portion of their degree; however, Shenandoah University offers only full-time semesters for its courses. While it is strongly discouraged, some students are able to remain employed during that time.

  • Can I apply to the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program and still complete this program?

    Yes. Our 13-month Accelerated Bachelor’s Program is designed to end in the summer to allow you to start this program immediately in the fall.

  • If I decide to seek employment as an RN before completing the MSN portion of the program, can I defer or take a leave of absence?

    Yes, you can do either.  Some students choose to take a leave of absence (LOA). This means their student status is put on hold for an agreed amount of time. LOAs can be taken for a variety of reasons and they are possible at any point in the program.  Deferment, however, is possible only before the beginning of the program. For example, if you are accepted, you can defer your start date by one year.  You could also defer between the baccalaureate and the master’s portion of the program.  However, once you start the master’s program, deferment is no longer an option.    

    In our experience, students, even those with little or no clinical experience, who go straight through as full-time students may question their decision.  Just as frequently, students who seek full-time employment as an RN to gain clinical skills before dedicating themselves to their program question that decision.  There are pros and cons to each route and there is no one right way. You decision depends on many individualized factors.  We encourage you to weigh these options with your advisors as you progress through the program.

  • Which school grants my degree?

    You will be awarded a Master of Science in Nursing from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The degree will indicate your specialty was in Public Health Nursing.  In addition, Shenandoah will award you a Post-Graduate Certificate in Midwifery.  The combination of these credentials entitles you to sit for national board certification to become a licensed certified nurse-midwife.  These credentials are consistent with the recommendations of the Advanced Practice Nurses’ Consensus Work Group and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

  • Which school manages my financial aid?

    Johns Hopkins University will be your academic home institution.  Financial aid will be awarded to and dispersed through our financial aid office.  As your home institution, our Financial Aid and Registrar’s offices work closely with Shenandoah University to ensure any and all changes to your enrollment status are communicated and considered for any impact they may have on your financial aid package.

  • Can I study internationally during my program?

    It depends. In all cases, students who work abroad during their curriculum do so because they were proactive, persistent, and creative.  

    Some students take advantage of the international clinical opportunities during their baccalaureate program. This may occur during their public health rotation, research honors opportunities, alternative spring or winter break options, or during their final baccalaureate “Transitions” clinical.

    During graduate studies, other opportunities arise to go abroad. Students compete with peers in the other programs in the schools of Nursing, Public Health, and Medicine for global health field placements with faculty working in a variety of public health settings.  Students may also work abroad as part of their Public Health Nursing practicums, depending on the agency with whom they are paired. Unfortunately, there are not enough global opportunities to meet the needs of all interested students.  

    At Shenandoah University, students may have international clinical experiences for a limited time with qualified preceptors.  Please inquire directly to Shenandoah University for these opportunities. During the MSN portion of the program, there are several practicums that may take place in international agencies, allowing students to focus their advanced work in assessment, program design, or evaluation from a global perspective. Some students have spent several weeks abroad during these experiences.

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Funding Opportunities

Scholarships & Grants

Grants are awards based on financial need that do not have to be repaid. Many students also benefit from scholarships and awards based on merit.

To be given consideration for a Merit Scholarship Award, you must be accepted for admission by March 1.

Scholarships & Grants


Many students will avail themselves of loans to help finance their School of Nursing Education. If necessary, we encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely essential to cover your educational costs.



Many students locate part-time employment to help pay education expenses. Numerous positions are available on campus and within various community based organizations. These jobs provide students with opportunities to gain practical work experience. Most positions are funded through the Federal Work-Study Program. 


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