About Preceptorships

By the time you graduate from Birthwise Midwifery School, you’ll have gained significant hands-on midwifery skills. You learn most of these skills through a preceptorship. 

preceptorship at Birthwise

What is a preceptorship?

A preceptorship is a one-on-one training relationship you arrange with a practicing midwife.

You gain hands-on experience in prenatal, postnatal and wellness checkups. You’ll also attend births as a midwife assistant and as a primary midwife.

By the time you graduate from Birthwise, you’ll be ready to sit for the NARM exam — if you pass you’ll have the certification many states require for you to practice. You’ll feel comfortable enough in clinical settings to practice on your own.

How long is a preceptorship?

If you’re in the Campus Option, you’ll start your preceptorship halfway through semester 4 and continue through the end of your time at Birthwise. You’ll take 42 credits.

You’ll also do two clinical rotations with a local Maine midwife starting in your second semester. You’ll need to complete a minimum of 90 clinical hours during each rotation and attend two to four births.

If you’re in the Community Option, you can start your preceptorship in semester 1 or semester 2. You’ll continue in your preceptorship through the end of your studies. You’ll spend semester 6 in your preceptorship full time. You take 46 credits. We don’t require additional clinical rotations for Community Option students.

How do I find and choose a preceptor?

Some students select a preceptor midwife based on where they live or where they want to practice. Others choose a preceptor who practices in ways you’d like to learn about.

Do I choose a preceptor in Maine?

While we do have a few preceptor midwives available in Maine, most of our students move away to do this part of their clinical studies. Some students do their preceptorship in their home town. Others move to work with a practitioner in a different city.

Birthwise students cannot precept in New York, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico, Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, West Virginia or Wyoming due to laws in these states.

How do I enroll in my preceptorship?

During the registration period, you’ll register online for these credits. The clinical director will help you each semester to make sure you’re properly enrolled for your preceptorship credits.

How do I document my clinical activity?

You’ll receive a Clinical Documentation booklet where you keep track of clinical days, births and skills throughout your preceptorship.

What happens if I finish my clinical requirements early?

Though not common, you might finish your clinical requirements early depending on how busy your preceptor experience is. However, you must complete course requirements and exams to complete the program early.

Do I work with the same preceptor for all of my credits?

You may work with the same preceptor for all of your requirements. However, we encourage you to work with more than one practice so you can experience different styles of practice or higher-volume sites.

What happens if I find that my selected preceptor isn’t a good fit?

The Clinical Director will always be there to assist you with any conflicts with your preceptor. If you can no longer work together, you can terminate your relationship and look for a new preceptor.

What happens if my preceptor decides to stop working with students?

In this case, we invite you and your preceptor to agree on an end date. Then you’ll look for a new preceptor to work with.

Do I need to move to work with a preceptor?

Many students can stay in their home community and find a preceptor to work with. Others might need to move to find a preceptor that is available to accept a student or to find a practice that’s busy enough to gain the clinical and birth experience you need for your graduation requirements.


If you have questions about your preceptorship we’re here to help. Contact Sarah Schubeck, Clinical Director, sarahs@birthwisemidwifery.edu.