Vanderbilt University School of Nursing nurse midwives, who typically help birth more than 700 babies each year, have expanded their reach to delivering babies at Nashville General Hospital. The arrangement, begun last summer, is aimed at easing capacity issues in Vanderbilt’s labor and delivery service as well as providing assistance to the underserved.
Vanderbilt midwives offer prenatal and women’s care at both the West End Women’s Health Center and the Vine Hill Community Clinic, both nurse-managed facilities affiliated with the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. The VUSN nurse-midwifery team of 13 is divided between the two clinics and two hospitals in order to offer continuity of care for patients.West End clients deliver at Vanderbilt Hospital while Vine Hill clients deliver at Nashville General Hospital.
The nurse-midwifery practice expects to deliver nearly 300 babies at Nashville General Hospital within the next year. Offering prenatal care at Vine Hill and deliveries at NGH may produce healthier babies because economically disadvantaged women may not seek care until the third trimester due to financial reasons or language barriers.
Adding Nashville General Hospital to Vanderbilt’s midwifery service also helps with nursing student placements and preceptorships. The School of Nursing is able to double the number of students per clinical rotation and give them a more hands-on labor experience in a low-intervention birth model.