May 31, 2020
Kansas Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives
The first nurse-midwifery attended birth, registered by State Vital Records, took place in the mid-1970s at Fort Riley by Judie Wika, CNM. In 1979, state regulations describing the role of advanced practice nursing, which includes nurse-midwifery, created opportunity for collaborative practice with physicians. Therefore, in 1980, Dr. Josie Norris, Libby Rosen and Ginger Breedlove established The Holistic Birth and Growth Center (now known as the Birth and Women’s Center) in Topeka and employed the first certified nurse-midwife, Joan Denny, to practice in Kansas. This center was the first free-standing urban birth center in Kansas. Now there are four with a rural birth center located in Yoder , KS and two New Birth Company birth center’s located in Overland Park, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas. As nurse-midwifery became more popular in Kansas, midwives began attending births in the hospital setting as well under collaborative practice with physicians. Nurse-midwives practice throughout Kansas under the advanced practice nursing act; hold state and national leadership positions; and publish widely in professional journals.