Faculty Profile

Laura Manns-James, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE, FACNM, certified menopause clinician

  • Nurse-Midwife,WHCNP
  • Professor
  • Course Coordinator
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I am a proud FNU graduate (class 28), first as a CNM and then later as a post-masters WHNP. I joined the faculty practice at FNU in 2004 and provided full-scope midwifery care in Hyden and in Clay County, KY. I helped re-establish a maternity service at Mary Breckinridge Hospital, and briefly directed the midwifery faculty practice. I helped establish an integrated addiction treatment/prenatal care program that used a CenteringPregnancy model while I worked in Hyden, and received a Community Grant from ACNM to establish a walking program for pregnant mothers in our practice. In 2008, I joined the didactic faculty at FNU. I have been teaching at FNU for 20 years, including my time in the faculty practice, and I absolutely love it. I enjoy providing women's health care, and I love teaching and discussing gynecologic health concepts. I've also been teaching the WHNP students on campus since our very first WHNP students came to FNU. Before I went to midwifery school, I worked in maternity nursing and in child/adolescent mental health. When I graduated from FNU, I worked as a CNM in a full-scope role in southwestern New Mexico, at The Family Clinic in Silver City. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in women's studies and cultural anthropology, and a Bachelor of Nursing from St Louis University's accelerated option. I completed a PhD in nursing research in 2017, focusing on racism as a chronic stressor affecting the preconception health of African American women through the obesity pathway. In 2014, I was awarded the ACNM Foundation's Fellowship for Graduate Education to support my doctoral work, and in 2015 I received the March of Dimes graduate scholarship. I recharge my batteries by spending time outside, reading for fun when I can, exercising, knitting, cooking, and spending time with the people I love. My primary research interest is health equity in perinatal and women's health, focusing on racial discrimination as a stressor in Black women's lives. I have consulted on a Community-Based Participatory Action Research project based in Cleveland, OH focused on reducing infant mortality for Black mothers and currently work on a research team examining health equity using the AABC PDR data set of midwifery-led care in birthing centers. I have presented regionally, nationally and internationally and have published articles focusing on research methods, Black women's health and health equity. I am an Associate Editor for the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery and Women's Health (6th edition) text, published in January 2021, and a managing editor for the 7th edition, due to publish in 2024. I serve as the nurse consultant for Access Bridge, a project to improve and expand reproductive healthcare in emergency departments across the U.S.