Transition of Pearline Gilpen, CNM To Join The Ancestors


It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Pearline Gilpen, CNM, ACNM Midwives of Color Committee Distinguished Leadership Award winner, June 27, 2015.

Pearline Gilpin received her basic midwifery training from The Central Midwives Board of England and Wales in 1957. She moved to America and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Nursing Education from New York University in 1968 and a Masters Degree in Maternal and Child Nursing Administration in 1970. Determined to pursue her passion for nurse-midwifery, Pearline obtained a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery at The State University- New York at Downstate Refresher Program in 1971.  Pearline pursued her love of learning and went on to earn a Masters in Public Health at the University of Alabama in 1994.  She subsequently completed all the course work towards a PhD in Nursing Education at Vanderbilt University.

Throughout her career as a Nurse-Midwife, Pearline was committed to serving women and children from vulnerable populations. In pursuit of this goal, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1971. As Service Director and Assistant Professor within the department of OB/GYN, Pearline was single-handedly responsible for the success of both the Midwifery Service and Midwifery Educational Program at Meharry Medical College. While providing midwifery care to countless women, Pearline was a mentor to many midwifery students, young midwives, and residents.  When Meharry Midwifery Educational Program was forced to close in 1990, Pearline was appointed a Clinical Associate within the department of OB/GYN at The University of Alabama where she continued to serve as a midwife, educator, and mentor until her retirement.