Certified nurse-midwives in rural Kansas hospitals: A survey of senior hospital administrators

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Koschwanez, Heidi
Harrington, Jamie
Fischer, Mary L.
Beck, Emma
Kennedy, Michael

Koschwanez, H., Harrington, J., Fischer, M. L., Beck, E., & Kennedy, M. (2021). Certified nurse-midwives in rural Kansas hospitals: A survey of senior Hospital Administrators. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, doi:10.1111/jmwh.13201


Introduction: Little is known about the nurse-midwifery workforce in rural Kansas hospitals, despite Kansas facing a shortage of primary care physicians providing maternity care rurally. This study investigated the current number of hospitals with certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) with privileges to attend births in Kansas hospitals located in frontier, rural, and densely settled rural counties and anticipated trends in the size of the CNM workforce at hospitals over the next 5 years. Methods: Electronic surveys were distributed to senior hospital administrators at 94 hospitals in rural Kansas from June to July 2019. The survey included both open and closed-ended questions related to scope of CNM privileges, collaborative agreements, and forecasted trends in the CNM workforce in rural Kansas. Results: Fifty-six hospitals completed the survey. Only one hospital reported having CNM-attended births. Twenty-eight of 37 hospital administrators agreed CNMs should have collaborative agreements with physicians. Most respondents did not anticipate the number of CNMs with privileges to increase at their hospitals over the next 5 years. Discussion: Future research should focus on understanding the factors limiting CNM expansion in rural Kansas, because CNMs represent an untapped, additional maternity care workforce for rural Kansas.

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