Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Certified Nurse-Midwifery provides optimal health care service to women through all stages of the reproductive cycle. In order to ensure continued growth of this field of health care, prospective students must see it as an occupation which can offer them high levels of job satisfaction, and certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) must be satisfied in their job or they will not continue to practice. In this qualitative study of West Michigan CNMs, two main factors are identified that determine high levels of job satisfaction: (1) The ability to autonomously care for a woman, with recourse to supportive comanagement of the woman's care in the event severe complications occur; (2) The ability to provide women with sufficient education and empowerment so that they themselves may make informed choices in their health care and general life-style. A history of midwifery and birth in the United States, as relevant to these issues, is also discussed.