Exciting News From US MERA April 2014
On behalf of the NACPM Board of Directors, we are excited to share news with you from the United States Midwifery Education, Regulation and Association (US MERA) Workgroup!
In addition to NACPM, this Workgroup includes the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), and North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).
Last weekend marked our second annual facilitated in-person meeting outside of Washington, D.C. There we reached an historic milestone, agreeing to work together on several critical action steps to ensure the future of midwifery in the United States.
Please read our joint statement, "2014 US MERA Meeting: A Summary Report."
Propelled by the needs of childbearing women around the country, representatives of each of the seven organizations have worked together for almost three years to find essential common ground. We strive to expand and ensure all women’s access to normal physiologic birth in all birth settings and to high-quality maternity care and the care of midwives. We are directed and inspired by the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) vision of a strong and autonomous midwifery workforce around the globe, and by the support of ICM’s Global Standards for Education, Regulation and Association to achieve this vision.
To support the rapid development of a robust, diverse and accessible midwifery workforce in the U.S. to meet the needs of women, we have engaged with each other in challenging conversations and recognized the need for some changes in the positions of all of our organizations. We also all remained true to our core values and committed to building on our strengths.
We recognized several urgent and critical needs:
- licensing for all nationally certified midwives in all 50 states
- the ability to practice to the full extent of our training and experience
- the need to promote innovation and accessibility in midwifery education through multiple pathways
- the necessity of integrating midwifery care seamlessly into the U.S. health care system
We acknowledged the value and role of accreditation by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (MEAC and ACME) in the development of, and the ability to scale up, direct-assessment, competency-based midwifery training programs that will build on the innovations and affordability of the Portfolio Evaluation Process pathway.
Of great importance, we committed to continued collaboration and to engaging our members and stakeholders in further development and clarification of the paths forward to achieve licensure for nationally credentialed midwives in all 50 states and to innovate to expand access to affordable accredited education for all midwives. We are committed to the time it will take to operationalize these goals, and to communicate what it will take to achieve them. We welcome your questions and concerns as we develop an FAQ, with regular updates, to include you in this process. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited by the commitment of U.S. midwifery leadership to doing the hard work of resolving issues that have stood in the way of advancing midwifery in the U.S. for far too long. We are counting on you to inform us with your questions and concerns as we stretch for new and creative solutions to meeting the needs of midwives and women in the U.S.
With great faith and hope,
Mary Lawlor, CPM
Executive Director, NACPM
Ellie Daniels, CPM