CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition (MFNR) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Thank you for your interest in achieving recognition by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) as a Mother-Friendly Nurse--a personal and public recognition of individual nurses who provide exemplary care.


What is CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition?

Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition is a personal and public recognition of nurses that provide maternity care services in a manner consistent with the Principles and Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI). Mother-Friendly Nurses embrace the MFCI as their guiding philosophical approach to the care of birthing women.

Why did CIMS develop the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition Program? What are its goals?

The health of mothers, infants, and children is of critical importance, both as a reflection of the current health status of a large segment of the U.S. population and as a predictor of the health of the next generation. (Healthy People, 2010) The creation of a national recognition process sends the important message that Mother-Friendly maternity nursing care is a priority service to which all birthing women are entitled.

Do you have to work in a hospital's Labor and Delivery unit to be eligible for CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition?

No, you do not have to work in a Labor and Delivery unit. If you have the opportunity to apply the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) in your work with birthing families, then you may be eligible for CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition.

[For example, "I am a NICU nurse and I do not work directly with laboring women, but I discuss the MFCI and how women can achieve the healthy and joyous births they deserve when I talk and work with women that I do come into contact with."]

Is this a certification? Can I use the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition behind my name after I am recognized? What is the benefit of being recognized?

Mother-Friendly is model of maternity care that is evidence-based and shown to improve the health outcomes of birthing women and their babies. As such, recognition will be valued by your employer, your supervisors and the patients in your care, and it will be an asset to your professional development.  However, Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition is not a certification, and we cannot recommend that you add any credentials to your name.

How long is the recognition valid? Must I reapply to maintain the recognition?

Once recognized, the Mother-Friendly Nurse maintains the recognition for as long as the recognized candidate is a continuous member of CIMS.  We hope that you will continue your commitment to the MFCI by maintaining your active CIMS membership, seeking educational opportunities that sharpen your knowledge and skills with regard to the Mother-Friendly model of care, and by actively promoting the MFCI in your community.

What happens if I do not maintain a continuous membership with CIMS? 

If your CIMS membership lapses, your name will be removed from the CIMS' website list of Mother-Friendly Recognized Nurses.  To regain that recognition, you would then need to resubmit a MFNR application and start the MFNR process again.

Why do I have to write a Personal Statement when I know my care is Mother-Friendly?

There is no better way to relate how you incorporate the MFCI into your autonomous nursing practice than through your own writing.

Who reads the Personal Statements? What happens to them?

Your assigned Mother-Friendly Mentor reads the personal statements and considers them for content and completion. The statements then become property of CIMS, and we may use them in future publications unless you specifically request that we do not. Your name will not be attached to the content without your express written permission.

What if I am intimidated by the Personal Statement requirement?

Please don't let this requirement stop you from achieving the recognition that you deserve! Applicants should be well-versed on the specific care practices covered by the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) and respond in a manner that explains how they incorporate the MFCI into their autonomous nursing practice. In preparation for your application, we suggest that you review "CIMS Evidence-Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care" (Journal of Perinatal Education, 16, Suppl. 1.), the most comprehensive systematic review of the medical literature on Mother-Friendly maternity care.  

What happens if my Personal Statement doesn't meet the criteria?

If your Personal Statement is incomplete or does not represent your autonomous incorporation of the MFCI in your nursing practice, your assigned Mother-Friendly Mentor may ask you to rewrite it to include necessary topics. Many nurses make the common mistake of talking about their facilities or why they love birthing women. Although you should relate this information in your response, your responses should articulate how you practice the Principles and Ten Steps of the MFCI in your day-to-day nursing care of birthing women.

Why do you tell my employer I have received the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition? Does my employer get a copy of my Personal Statement?

Your personal statement is not given to your employer. CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition is a personal and public recognition aimed at honoring and recognizing nurses who believe in and practice the Principles and Ten Steps of MFCI. It is also an opportunity to educate consumers and the public about the benefits of the Mother-Friendly model of maternity care. Notifying your manager and/or hospital administrators of your achievement furthers that goal.

Who else do you tell when an applicant has received the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition?

CIMS sends a press release that notifies the media outlets in the nurse's local community of her/his Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition achievement. Notifying the media provides yet another opportunity to promote the health benefits of the Mother-Friendly model of maternity care.

Why do CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurses receive a pin upon receiving their recognition?

The Mother-Friendly Nurse pin is a symbol of achievement that is afforded only to nurses that have successfully completed the Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition application and formal review process. Wearing the pin lets your patients and colleagues know that you embrace an evidence-based model of Mother-Friendly maternity care which has been shown to improve the health outcomes of birthing women and their babies.

Why is there a charge for this recognition?

The MFNR Application Fee ($150) includes a 1-year CIMS Individual Membership and helps to defray the administrative and material costs of the program.

Can my recognition be revoked? What processes are in place to ensure the integrity of the recognition?

CIMS makes every effort to ensure the integrity of the program by undertaking a thorough assessment of each individual applicant's philosophical approach to the care of birthing women and her/his autonomous nursing practice. This is not a certification, and we cannot attest to any individual's ongoing practice. Once recognized, the Mother-Friendly Nurse maintains the recognition for as long as her/his CIMS membership remains active.

Can the hospital where I work be recognized as Mother-Friendly?

Upon recognition, CIMS sends a press release that notifies the media outlets in the nurse's local community of her/his achievement which specifies the institution at which she/he is employed. CIMS is grateful for the increasing interest in having a hospital, birth center, or homebirth practice designated as Mother-Friendly. We are also very pleased when childbearing families inquire about Mother-Friendly facilities in their area. When The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) was drafted, the authors envisioned hospitals, birth centers and home birth services as being able to fulfill all of the Ten Steps of the MFCI over time. Over the years, our nation's health care system became more complex and included a greater number of stakeholders. In turn, it became evident that providing optimal care for mothers and babies did not rest solely in the hands of the dedicated professionals and administrators. While CIMS does not currently offer an official institutional recognition, we encourage hospitals, birth centers, and home birth services to facilitate and support employees interested in seeking Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition.

How do I stay current on the latest research concerning maternity practices as a CIMS Mother-Friendly Nurse?

There are many ways for the Mother-Friendly Nurse to stay current on the latest research beyond the various professional nursing and maternity care journals and publications. CIMS' own electronic newsletter (e-CIMS), Forums, Webinars, and Fact Sheets deliver information and resources that can help the Mother-Friendly Nurse stay current on the latest research and trends, and also provide solid research in support of the type and quality of the care that you provide.  Our coalition members also have a large variety of educational resources as well.

Can childbirth professionals (doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, etc.) or an individual birthing woman, spouse, grandparent, or significant other, recommend nurses for the CIMS' Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition?

Absolutely! You can recommend that a nurse become recognized as a CIMS Mother-Friendly Nurse, but she/he must complete all parts of the application herself/himself. If you would like, offer to contribute the application fee ($150) and/or provide a letter of recommendation in honor of the exemplary care she/he provides.

How do I nominate someone for Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition?

If you have the privilege of knowing a nurse who delivers Mother-Friendly maternity care, we would be happy to contact the individual on your behalf. Alternatively, you can direct her/him to the online Mother-Friendly Nurse Recognition Application, provide the $150 Application Fee, write a letter of recommendation, and/or encourage the nurse as she/he completes all of the requirements toward achieving national recognition as a Mother-Friendly Nurse.


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