About The Author

Michelle Collins

Michelle Collins, Ph.D, CNM, RN-CEFM, FACNM, FAAN, FNAP is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Professor in the Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing at Rush University College of Nursing. She is also Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Nursing and clinically practices as a CNM in Chicago.

Dr. Collins has been involved in nurse-midwifery education, research, administration, and practice since graduation from her nurse-midwifery program. She has a Diploma of Nursing from Saint Anthony School of Nursing and a BSN from Rockford College (both in Rockford, Illinois); MSN from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and PhD from University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis, Tennessee).

While in her undergraduate nursing education, Dr. Collins spent a semester in London, UK alongside midwives at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington Station. This experience was pivotal to her career as it is where she first saw midwives in practice as well as the use of nitrous oxide for childbirth. Upon returning from the UK, Dr. Collins was impassioned to become a CNM, as well as to facilitate the availability of nitrous oxide to birthing women in the US. Dr. Collins led the 2011 initiative to bring nitrous oxide to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (only the second hospital in the country to offer nitrous oxide for childbirth), and presents frequently nationally, and internationally, on the topic. Dr. Collins is a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Academy of Nursing, and a Distinguished Scholar Fellow of the National Academies of Practice. She has blogged for the first 8 seasons of the series for PBS affiliate Nashville Public Television (NPT).

“Serving women in the capacity of a certified nurse-midwife has ALWAYS been an honor to me. As I have taught hundreds of students, it is the highest privilege, and responsibility, to be allowed into such a sacred space as midwives enter daily. My relationship with my patients is a partnership; I walk alongside them in their care. Whether providing contraception, aiding with infertility issues, treating gynecologic conditions, or being present throughout their pregnancy and birth – it is ALL part of a journey in which I am grateful, and humbled, as well as incredibly honored to be on with the women whom I serve.”

Every Person Deserves a Midwife
Every Person Deserves a Midwife
by Michelle Collins | May 18, 2020
We “midwife” people both into, and out of, this life. If you think about just the physiologic processes involved in both birthing and dying, the two are remarkably similar.
When Daily Challenges Cloud Out Judgment
When Daily Challenges Cloud Out Judgment
by Michelle Collins | May 11, 2020
Challenges for Dr. McNulty, for Sister Frances, for Nurse Franklin, for Marian Arnsby, and for others. All different, yet all challenges just the same.
'The Bonds, However Delicate, Were Perfect'
'The Bonds, However Delicate, Were Perfect'
by Michelle Collins | May 04, 2020
When people hear what any birth worker does, they inevitably comment on how “happy” our work must be. Yes, it is a glorious place to be. When it is sad, though, it is the saddest of places to be.
'Superwoman' Syndrome
'Superwoman' Syndrome
by Michelle Collins | April 27, 2020
The “superwoman” phenomenon can have very real, very negative health consequences.
Lessons in Care for New Doctors
Lessons in Care for New Doctors
by Michelle Collins | April 20, 2020
Using her keen knowledge of emergency management, Nurse Dyer was able to resolve a situation without doing unnecessary harm – and taught a young doctor a very valuable lesson to boot.
Going the Extra Mile
Going the Extra Mile
by Michelle Collins | April 13, 2020
We have the power to make a difference in a woman’s life, like nurse Crane did, by caring for the extra mile.
Taking the Harder Path
Taking the Harder Path
by Michelle Collins | April 06, 2020
One of the qualities I so admire about the nuns is how they are able to separate their beliefs from what the patient needs.
Keeping These Bonds with Us, Always
Keeping These Bonds with Us, Always
by Michelle Collins | March 30, 2020
I am a midwife, and I am also a nurse, and have also, at times, best met women’s needs (through my midwife role) as their friend.