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Old Dominion University and Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., have joined together to offer a specialization in nurse midwifery within the master of science nursing program beginning in fall 2004. Students will complete the first year at Old Dominion, and the midwifery program at Shenandoah University will offer the second year of the curriculum.

According to Laurel Garzon, associate professor of nursing at Old Dominion, there is a shortage of nurse midwives and a shortage of programs to train them. "Start-up costs are very high for midwife programs. It just makes sense to use the resources we have to make this available in underserved areas," she said. "This program builds on our existing distance network and is a really good example of how two schools can use their best attributes to put together a needed program."

ODU and Shenandoah courses will be offered at ODU's Norfolk campus, and its Virginia Beach, Tri-Cities, and Peninsula higher education centers, as well as distance learning sites throughout the state. Students will attend classes at Shenandoah in two and four week blocks during each of the last three semesters of the program.

The master of science degree in nursing will be awarded by ODU and a certificate of midwifery specialty will be awarded by Shenandoah. Graduates will be eligible to take the national midwifery certification examination.

The program may be completed by full-time and part-time students. For more information, call 683-4298, (800) 572-2762 or e-mail sparker@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: May 5, 2004

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