Frontier Alumni and Faculty Contribute to First Ever Textbook Published on U.S. Birth Centers

The book is expected to influence the future of maternal care with the most comprehensive documentation to date of the birth center model.


Five Frontier Nursing University (FNU) faculty members and several Frontier alumni contributed to a new textbook for graduate students and professionals set for exhibition and a book signing at the American Association of Birth Centers’ (AABC) conference in October.


The book, Freestanding Birth Centers: Innovation, Evidence, Optimal Outcomes, explores the freestanding birth center models in the U.S. from the 1970’s to present.


According to the book release flyer, Freestanding Birth Centers, ”provides a thorough history of the birth center movement from its inception through future expansion of the model; serves as an essential resource with up-to-date evidence on clinical and cost outcomes; includes case studies linking the unique service focus of individual birth centers to the associated sections of the book; and provides practical and comprehensive coverage of all issues involved in implementing and operating a U.S. birth center.”


Co-authored by Linda Cole, DNP, RN, CNM, Assistant Professor, Course Coordinator, Course Faculty, and Regional Clinical Faculty at Frontier, and Melissa Avery, PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, the textbook is the first of its kind.


“The first book published about birth centers in the U.S. begins with the most comprehensive documentation to date of the history of the birth center model featuring the pioneers who were behind it from the start and their unique stories,” said Cole. “Experts in the fields of midwifery, obstetrics, public health and business explore with the reader the latest research on outcomes of the birth center model.”


A number of Frontier-educated women, including Alumni Alisha Wilkes, DNP, CNM, ARNP and Autumn Versace Vergo, MSN, CNM, CPM, as well as alumna and current Frontier Course Faculty Jill Alliman, CNM, DNP, contributed to chapters pertaining to their medical and professional specialties.


FNU Senior Instructor Kathryn Schrag, MSN, CNM, FNP co-authored the book’s first chapter, Organizing for Change: History, Pioneers, and the Formation of a National Organization. Diana Jolles, CNM, MSN, FACNM, PhD(c), a Frontier instructor and Course Coordinator, also made contributions to the new book. The foreword was co-written by Ruth Watson Lubic, an FNU honoree, with Kitty Ernst, CNM, FCH, FACNM, instructor and Mary Breckinridge Chair of Midwifery at Frontier.


Writing contributions from FNU Professor Emeritus Barbara Anderson, DrPH, RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, can also be found within the book’s 382 pages.


Freestanding Birth Centers: Innovation, Evidence, Optimal Outcomes was published by Springer Publishing Company in May 2017 and released at the American College of Nurse Midwives’ (ACNM) 62nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Chicago, Ill., Wednesday, May 24, in the ACNM bookstore.


The textbook will next hit the Exhibit Hall at the 11th Annual AABC Birth Institute in Anchorage, Alaska, from October 5-8, 2017. AABC will host a book-signing and a promotional event for the book on Saturday, October 7, at 10:15-11:00 a.m., where conference attendees can meet and network with the book’s contributors. There will also be books available for sale at AABC registration.


Follow Us

About this Blog

Welcome to the Frontier Nursing University (FNU) blog. The purpose of this blog is to give a voice to the thousands of students, alumni, preceptors, faculty, administrators and donors who possess a deep commitment to caring for women and families.

We hope to inspire and empower our readers with stories that ignore boundaries and redefine care. We invite you to join us on our journey to reach the highest potential for wellness.

Answer the call.

Contact Us

If you have news to share with FNU please send to If you have a specific idea for a blog post, please submit through our form here.

For general inquiries about FNU programs please contact