faculty profile

Michelle R. Collins   PhD, CNM, RN, C-EFM, FACNM, FAAN

Director, Nurse-Midwifery Specialty
Professor of Nursing


Dr. Michelle Collins joined the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty in 2005, coming from a widely diverse clinical practice background. She began her career in nurse-midwifery as the first certified nurse-midwife in Marion, Ill., initiating a successful waterbirth service at that site. 

She is active in the Vanderbilt nurse-midwifery practice, having a special interest in cervical dysplasia, diagnosis and treatment. 

She has received awards for teaching and expertise in working with the media. Dr. Collins loves clinical practice, as well as teaching the next generation of certified nurse-midwives. Her goal is to help students develop their passion in caring for women through every stage of a woman's life, and to guide them as they become excellent nurse-midwives who deliver evidence based-care. 

Her research interests include cervical dysplasia, nitrous oxide as labor analgesia and waterbirth. She has had publications in such journals as the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Nursing for Women's Health.


  • PhD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • MSN, Marquette University                                
  • BSN, Rockford College
  • Diploma of Nursing, St. Anthony School of Nursing


  • American Midwifery Certification Board
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Neonatal Resuscitation Program Instructor
  • American Heart Association, Basic Life Support, Limited Third Trimester OB Ultrasound 
  • American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, Colposcopist
  • National Certification Corporation - Certification in Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Nitrous oxide as labor analgesia

Current Projects

Primary Investigator, "Perinatal Nitrous Oxide Data Registry" Multi-Center Study, 2014 - present

Investigator, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Comprehensive EPC Comparative Effectiveness Reviews for Effective Health Care; Nitrous Oxide for Management of Labor Pain, Vanderbilt University Evidence Based Practice Center, Nashville, TN, 2010.

Site coordinator, "Human Papilloma Virus Detection" study, Vine Hill Clinic, Nashville, TN, 2008

Research assistant, "The Effect of Guided Imagery on the Third Stage of Labor", VUMC, Nashville, TN, 2007

Co-investigator, "Maternal Opioid Treatment Human Experimental Research", Vanderbilt  University  Medical Center (VUMC), Nashville, TN, 2005


Use of Nitrous Oxide During Labor and Birth & Perinatal Outcomes, Development of a US Repository of Nitrous Use; funded grant from Porter Instrument Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation for multi-center (6 sites) study. $44,100, 3 years funded. Role: PI for Vanderbilt University site; co-investigator for multi-center site. Multiple research questions to be address. 2014.

The Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL) faculty seed-funding grant to promote development and research in digital learning; 2014, co-recipient of grant to research use of Google Glasses as an innovative learning format, $10,000.00 

 ACNM Community Grant for the Volunteer Doula Program, 2013, $500.00

Representative Publications


Phillippi, J., Holley, S., Morad, A., & Collins, M. Share With Women: Vitamin K for Newborns. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12550

De Kleine, M., Habashy, M. R. and Collins, M. R. (2016), A Model for Enhancing Midwifery Education With a Global Health Certificate. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12459

Wilbeck, J., Collins, M., Reeves, G., & Downes, E. (2016). Strategies to Enhance Success among Dual Specialty Students in Advanced Practice Nursing Programs. Journal of Nursing Education. 55(8) 463-466. doi: 10.3928/01484834- 20160715-08.

Phillippi, J. C., Holley, S. L., Morad, A. and Collins, M. R. (2016), Prevention of Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12470.

Pilkenton, D., Collins, M. R. and Holley, S. (2015), Teaching Labor Support: An Interprofessional Simulation. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 60: 699-705. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12373

Collins, M. (2015). Is your pregnant client a candidate for "laughing gas" in labor? Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12 (1), e21-22. Munoz, E.G. & Collins, M. (2015). Establishing a volunteer doula program within a nurse-midwifery education program: a winning situation for both clients and students. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12312.

Buxton, M.B., Phillippi, J.C. & Collins, M.R. (2015). Simulation: A new approach to teaching ethics in midwifery education. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 60 (1), 70-74.

Collins, M. (2015). Nitrous oxide in labor: valuable anxiolytic properties. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, 44, 87-92.

Moore-Davis, T., Schorn, M., Collins, M., Phillippi, J., & Holley, S. (2015). Team-Based Learning for Midwifery Education, Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, 60 (3), 291-297.

Pilkenton, D., Collins, M. and Holley, S. (2015). Teaching labor support: an intradisciplinary simulation. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. 2015 Nov-Dec;60(6):699-705. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12373. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Likis FE, Andrews JA, Collins MR, Lewis RM, Seroogy JJ, Starr SA, Walden RR, McPheeters ML. Nitrous oxide for the management of labor pain: a systematic review. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 118 (1) Jan 2014; 153-167.

Collins, M. To Dip or Not to Dip: That is the question. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Vol. 9 (8) Sept 2013.

Collins, MR, Starr, SA, Bishop, JT, Baysinger, CL. (2012). Nitrous oxide for labor analgesia: expanding analgesic options for women in the United States. Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 5 (3/4).

Stewart, L. & Collins, M. (2012). Nitrous Oxide as Labor Analgesia; Clinical Implications for Nurses. Nursing for Women's Health, October/Nov 16(5); 398-409.

Collins, M. (2012). The Extended Interval Schedule for Prenatal Visits. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Vol. 8(6); 488-489. 

Likis FE, Andrews JA, Collins MR, Lewis, RM, Seroogy JJ, Starr SA,Walden RR, McPheeters ML. (2012). Nitrous Oxide for the Management of Labor Pain. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 67. (Prepared by the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10065-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 12- EHC071-EF. Rockville, MD:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2012.www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/reports/final.cfm.

Collins, M. (2008). Bacterial Vaginosis in the Hospitalized Patient, Nursing, 2008, December, Vol. 38 (12):22.

Lewis, S. and Collins, M. (2008), Induction of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Using Intracervical Foley Bulb. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 53(6): 563-566.

Book Chapters

Collins, M. Revised/updated previously written chapter "Pap Test Abnormalities" in Primary Care: A Collaborative Practice, 5th edition by Buttaro,T.M. et al. Elsevier Publishing, publication (2017).

Kennedy, B. & Baird, S. (eds). Collins, M. Module 6 Part 1 Pain in labor and nonpharmacologic methods of relief in Intrapartum Management Modules (2017). Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Anderson, B. A., Rooks, J.P., & Barroso, R. (eds). Collins, M. Chapter 23 Nitrous Oxide's Place in Labor and Birth in Best practices in midwifery: Using the evidence to implement change, 2nd ed. (2016). New York, Springer Publishing Co.

Collins, M. Nitrous oxide for pain relief in labor (2013), Share with Women in Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 58 (6). Collins, M. Holley, S., Moore-Davis, T., Narrigan, D. and Brucker M. (for 17 & 18).Ch. 16: Family Planning, Ch. 17: Nonhormonal

Contraception, and Ch. 18: Hormonal Contraception in Varney's Midwifery, Fifth Edition. (2014). King,T., Brucker,M., Kriebs, J. Fahey, J., Gegor, C.& Varney, H. (Eds.) Jones & Bartlett.

Avery, M. (Ed). Collins, M.R. & Dahlgren Roemmich, D.M. Chapter 9, Water immersion for labor and birth in Supporting a Physiologic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth: A Practical Guide (2013). Wiley-Blackwell.


  • Evidence-Based Sexual and Reproductive Health, First Edition, Jones & Bartlett, 2016.
  • Prenatal and Postnatal Care: A Woman-Centered Approach, First Edition by Jordan, Engstrom, Marfell & Farley, Wiley Blackwell Publishers, 2015.

Professional Organizations

  • American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Chapter
  • Member and Colposcopy Mentor, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology


  • Elizabeth Cooper lectureship, University of Rochester, 2016
  • Inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing, 2016 
  • American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Award of Merit , 2016
  • Rockford College Distinguished Alumni award, 2015
  •  Murtland Lectureship Recipient, 2015
  • Susan K. Archer Teaching Award, 2014
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Deans' Media Award, 2014
  • Inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, May 15, 2014
  • Recipient of Vanderbilt University Outstanding Advance Practice Nurse of the Year, 2013 
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Deans' Media Award, 2012
  • TN Simulation in Education Fellow, 2011-14
  • American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award , 2010
  • TN March of Dimes Women's Health Nurse of the Year, 2010
  • ACNM Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007
  • Umbilical Cord Blood Donor Advocate for Midwestern United States for the National Marrow Donor Program, 1999-2002