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"So Powerful is the Light of Unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."

~Baha'u'llah (Iranian Philosopher)

Click here for a graphic depiction of this timeline.

We are indebted to the pioneer, frontier, and urban midwives who paved the way for the practice of midwifery in Colorado. Their work provided the foundation for the recent advancement of midwifery as illustrated in this timeline. The timeline captures events starting in the 1970’s.


  • May 27,1977 - "Legal Midwifery Returns to State June 1” - The original legislation in 1977 provided for nurse-midwives being regulated by the Board of Nursing. It provided exemption under the Medial Practice for Certified Nurse-Midwives who were licensed under the Board of Nursing, Certified by ACNM and practiced under supervision of a physician.
  • Linda Vieira becomes first CNM in private practice in Apsen and becomes the first CNM to deliver a baby in Colorado. (8/77)
  • Second birth by Karen Hangsleben, CNM in Trinidad in October ‘77.
  • Denver Birth Center (Loretta Ivory)


  • University of Colorado Hospital Faculty UNM (University Nurse Midwives) practice opens (Betty Jennings and Margaret Edmundson)
  • Univeristy Nurse Midwives training Grant (Cathy Anderson)


  • ACNM starts chapter in Colorado
  • Curriculum developed at University of Colorado (Pre-accreditation from ACNM)


  • Private Practices Open Throughout Denver
  • Rose Medical Center Nurse-Midwifery Service (a faculty practice of the University of Colorado College of Nursing) (Cathy Anderson, Judy Tinney, Joyce Porier)
  • Aurora - OB-Gyn Associate (Margaret Edmundson and Elaine Francis)
  • University of Colorado College of Nursing admits first class of 6 under acting director, Betty Jennings
  • Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch is Program Director from 1980-1984


  • ACNM Convention in Colorado for first time


  • Private Practices Continue to Open Throughout Colorado
  • With Women in Denver (Joyce Porier and Ruth Parker)
  • Women’s Care in Ft. Collins (Dian Sparling, Sally Mather)
  • The first class graduates from University of Colorado College of Nursing. Graduates were: Karen Belanski, Anita McWatters, Judy Quill, Susan Shippey, and Laurie Waylander.


  • Mesa Midwives in Grand Junction opens (Janet Grant)
  • Center CO opens (Susan Wheeler)
  • Univeristy of Colorado College of Nursing receives ACNM accreditation


  • A law that identified who must be reimbursed for services and insurance plans was amended to add Registered Professional Nurses. This applied to commercial insurance plans but not HMOs. At about the same time Medicaid in Colorado provided for 100% reimbursement for nurse-midwifery provided births.


  • Region V Award for Excellence was presented to Ruth Duran, one of the original members of the Organizing Committee for ACNM


  • Advanced Practice Registry Legislated - It defined APN's as nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists and clinical specialists. Most APN's, including CNMs, were to be certified by their national certifying agency if such certification existed; it was not yet available for all clinical specialists.  This was necessary before prescriptive authority legislation could be introduced which happened the next year. (Note: All APNs were not required to be nationally certified until 2005.)


  • Prescriptive Authority


  • University of Colorado Hospital begins offering water births


  • Removed supervisory clause in Medical Practice Act
  • Ability of client to seek provider of choice


  • Center for Midwifery at University of Colorado Hospital opens (Erica Schwartz, Anne Mariella and Jessica Anderson)


  • Regional Award of Excellence from ACNM Annual Meeting (Karol Krakauer)


  • Mountain Midwifery Birth Center Opens
  • University of Colorado Hospital (Center for Midwifery) begins offering water births to clients


  • Regional Award of Excellence from ACNM Annual Meeting (Betty Jennings)
  • Tanya Tanner, MSN, CNM, DNP held the elected national ACNM treasurer position (’07-’13)


  • Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center opens in Grand Junction. It is run by Frontier Nursing University Graduate, Patty Kandiko. It is the first birth center on the Western Slope.
  • Denver Health begins offering Water Birth to clients


  • ACNM Annual Meeting returns to Denver

Timeline Compiled By Midwifery Students: Sarah Drexler, BSN,RN, SNM, (Frontier Nursing University, Rebecca Heck, BSN, MPH, RN, SNM, (University of Colorado)
Designed by: Stacy Howard

Ⓒ Copyright Denver ACNM Region V Chapter 3