Melissa A. Saftner, PhD, CNM, RN

Clinical Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Melissa A. Saftner

Contact Info

Office Phone 218-726-8934

Fax 218-726-7699

Office Address:
Duluth Office Location:
SMed 351

University of Minnesota,
Twin Cities Campus Office:
6-111 Weaver-Densford Hall

Mailing Address:
Duluth Mailing Address:
1035 University Dr
SMed 351
Duluth, MN 55812

Clinical Associate Professor, School of Nursing

PhD, University of Michigan (Women’s Health Nursing), 2011

MS, University of Michigan (Nursing/Nurse-Midwifery), 2009

BSN, University of Colorado (Nursing), 2005; BS, United States Military Academy (European History), 2001


Awards & Recognition

Fellow, American College of Nurse-Midwives 
ACNM Excellence in Teaching Award: 2017 
University of Minnesota School of Nursing Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award: 2016 
The Daisy Foundation Daisy Award: Exceptional Mentorship, 2015 
MNRS Adolescent Health Research Section Dissertation Award, 2012

Professional Associations


Research Summary/Interests

Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior; Health promotion in adolescent populations; American Indian Health; Improving access to nurse-midwives

Research Methods/Techniques

Qualitative Research Grounded Theory

Research Funding Grants

Selected Grants:

Title of Project:Exploring Risk Behaviors in Ugandan Adolescents Living in Rural Fishing Communities
Funding Agency: Sigma Theta Tau International, Sigma Theta Tau-Zeta Chapter, University of Minnesota (multiple sources)
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Date: Jan 1, 2017-May 31, 2018

Title of Project: Perceptions of Women’s Health Care in Duluth, MN
Funding Agency: The College of St. Scholastica Faculty Development Funds
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Date: 2012

Title of Project: Urban American Indian Adolescent Female Sexual Risk Behavior F31NR012108
Funding Agency: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Date: 2010-2011


Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Avery, M. D. Neerland, C., & Saftner, M. A. (In press). Supporting women’s confidence for physiologic labor and birth. In Jordan, R.G., Farley, C.L., Grace, K.T. Eds, Prenatal and Postnatal Care: A Woman-Centered Approach. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Avery, M. D. & Saftner, M. A. (2018). The Certified Nurse-Midwife. In Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T., Eds. Hamric and Hanson’s Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach (6th Edition). Saunders.
  • Saftner, M. A., Neerland, C., & Avery, M. D. (2017). Enhancing Women’s Confidence for Physiologic Birth: Maternity Care Providers’ Perspectives. Midwifery, 53, 28-34. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2017.07.012
  • Ringdahl, D. & Saftner, M. A. (2017). Chapter 8 (section) Nurse-Midwife. In Zaccagnini, M. & White, K. Eds. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials: A New Model for Advanced Practice Nursing (3rd Edition). Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
  • Munro-Kramer, M., Fava, N., Saftner, M. A., Darling-Fisher, C., Tate, N. H., Stoddard, S. A., Martyn, K. K. (In Press). What are we missing? Risk behaviors among Arab- American adolescents and emerging adults. The Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12352
  • Saftner, M. A. (Accepted, In Press). Family and friend influence on urban dwelling American Indian adolescent girl sexual risk behavior. Qualitative Health Research.
  • Saftner, M. A., Martyn, K. K., Momper, S. L., Loveland-Cherry, C. J., & Low, L. K. (2015). Urban American Indian Adolescent Girls: Framing Sexual Risk Behavior. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(4), 365-375.  doi: 10.1177/10436596l4524789PMCID: PMC4222998
  • Avery, M. D., Saftner, M. A., Larson, B., & Weinfurter, L. V. (2014). A systematic review of maternal confidence for physiologic birth: characteristics of prenatal care and confidence measurement. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 59(6), 586-595. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12269
  • Hartmann, W., Wendt, D., Saftner, M. A., Momper, S. L., & Marcus, J. (2014). Advancing Community-Based Research with Urban American Indian Populations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.American Journal of Community Psychology. 54(1-2), 72-80. doi: 10.1007/s10464-014-9643-5. PMCID: PMC4165816
  • Saftner, M. A., Martyn, K. K., & Momper, S. L. (2014). Urban Dwelling American Indian Adolescent Girls’ Beliefs Regarding Health Care Access and Trust. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 3(1), 1-15. PMCID: PMC4274642
  • Martyn, K. K., Saftner, M. A., Darling-Fisher, C., & Schell, M. (2013). Sexual risk assessment using event history calendars with male and female adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 27(6), 460-469. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2012.05.002. PMCID number pending.
  • Martyn, K. K., Darling-Fisher, C., Pardee, M., Ronis, D. L., Felicetti, I. L., & Saftner, M. A. (2012). Improving sexual risk communication with adolescents using event history calendars. Journal of School Nursing, 28(2), 108-115. doi:10.1177/1059840511426577. PMCID: PMC3319735 Awarded Journal of School Nursing 2012 Scholarly Writing Award.
  • Saftner, M. A., Martyn, K. K., & Lori, J. R. (2011). Sexually active adolescent women: Assessing family and peer relationships using event history calendars. Journal of School Nursing, 27(3), 225-236. doi: 10.1177/1059840510397549. PMCID: PMC3319733
  • Teaching

    Academic Interests and Focus

    Nurse-midwifery; Nursing Research; Obstetric Nursing

    Teaching Areas


    Obstetric Nursing

    Doctor of Nursing Practice



    Essentia Health Duluth

    Board Certifications

    American Midwifery Certification Board

    Clinical Interests

    Adolescent Health Prenatal Care

    Clinical Experience Statement

    I have worked for over a decade caring for women and their families. It is an honor to work with women as they transition through various life stages.