Established in 1979 as an outreach initiative, the Regional Perinatal Program has evolved and grown, and today forms a key part of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Youth Network.

Who We Are

Since it began, this program has aimed to provide continuing maternal/newborn education, consultation and health promotion services for perinatal health care providers practicing in our partner organizations. Our Vision is that all mothers and their babies will have timely access to integrated perinatal care that is patient and family centred, standardized, based on current evidence and regionalized across the MNCYN geographical area. Effective and efficient management and coordination of maternal and newborn services is facilitated by the collaboration, cooperation and communication amongst our regional partners.

In support of our regional efforts, members of the Regional Perinatal Program team are also involved with other Provincial and National Maternal / Newborn Programs and organizations, for example:

Better Outcomes Registry Network (BORN) Ontario

Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN)

Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)

    • Acute Care of At-Risk Newborns (ACoRN)
    • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

Canadian Perinatal Programs Coalition (CPPC)

Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH)

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC)

Women & Children's Health Educators Nework (WCHEN)


To see how the Regional Perinatal Program fits into the overall MNCYN timeline, please visit the History section on the Who We Are page. The articles below offer deeper insight into our roots:

LFP Two Perinatal Nurses in Halifax to study program – article

CMAJ Feb 1991 Vol 144 no 3 is perinatal care in sw ontario regionalized – article

Dimensions Apr 1985 Perinatal Outreach the sw Ontario experience – article Haun and Chance

Dimensions May 1985 Continuing Ed for Nurses – article Haun and Chance

Canadian Nurse Oct 1984 Nursing Care during Labour – article

What We Do

The MNCYN Regional Perinatal Program offers the following services:


The Regional Perinatal Program facilitates and coordinates knowledge sharing by providing opportunities for interdisciplinary perinatal education through on-site training, videos and webinars, and regional workshops. Workshops are offered for:

  • Acute Care of at-Risk Newborns (ACoRN)
  • Fetal Health Surveillance
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program ™ (NRP) Instructor Courses and Updates
  • Labour Support

Additionally, the Perinatal Professional Practice Consultant offers nursing education sessions on a variety of perinatal topics as requested by individual partner hospitals. These sessions are usually 2-3 hours in length.


The MNCYN Educators Community of Practice provides a forum for clinical educators from throughout the MNCYN partnership to share ideas and resources and provide skill drills through regional workshops.


Regional Maternal Newborn Orientation Program© (RMNOP):

This online nursing education program includes four modules sequentially organized from antepartum through to intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn care.  Each module is comprised of several self-directed learning chapters based on current best-practice guidelines. The modules focus on what is normal proceeding to abnormal and high-risk scenarios. The primary focus of the program is to develop the theoretical knowledge base to support critical thinking and enhance confidence in perinatal care. It is intended for nursing orientees and as a guide to assist preceptors and clinical educators as they mentor these new learners. It may also be used as a resource for experienced nurses who wish to refresh their perinatal knowledge.  The program is based on the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN) Perinatal Nursing Standards in Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) competencies for perinatal nurses. Completion of the program will assist learners to academically prepare for the CNA Perinatal Nursing Certification Exam.



RMNOP© is the intellectual property of MNCYN and is a registered copyright with the Government of Canada. Learners will not be able to view the content or access the course once it has been completed. The content cannot be printed or distributed without the written consent of MNCYN.



The information contained in the Regional Maternal Newborn Orientation Program© (RMNOP) is provided for reference and educational purposes only. The content is referenced using the best information and evidence available at the time of preparation. The RMNOP© is not a substitute for clinical judgment, knowledge and expertise or medical advice. MNCYN is not responsible or liable for any claim, loss or damage resulting from the use of this information.


The feedback from learners who have completed the RMNOP has been very positive:


“The course is very informative and easy to follow.” (RPN, Acute Medicine)

“I enjoyed the updates, go at your own pace, videos and references given.” (RN, OB)

“The information is solid. The chapters did not drag on and it was easy to complete the course without pressure or anxiety.” (RN, OB)

“I liked how the topics were separated into small chunks instead of one big chapter. It kept my attention better and provided a nice way to understand each topic” (RN, OB)


Module 1 (Antepartum) is comprised of 15 chapters and is currently available for registration.  Subsequent modules are still in development. Participants can self-register for Module 1 here: RMNOP Module 1 Registration  


Perinatal Competency Indicator Tools:

Perinatal competency Indicator tools have been developed to support the experiential learning of nurses new to maternal /newborn care. These include:


Competency Indicator Tool Maternal Newborn Care Registered Nurse

Competency Indicator Tool Level II Nursery Care Registered Nurse


Perinatal Case Rounds:

  • Interdisciplinary Perinatal Case Reviews are provided annually for each partner hospital
  • Interdisciplinary Perinatal Critical Event Reviews are available upon request


The Perinatal Professional Practice Consultant is available for online consultation with regional partners as needed.


An attempt is made to offer Hospital Maternal/Child Program reviews for our MNCYN partner organizations every 5 years or upon request depending on the capacity of the Regional Perinatal Program team.  Full reviews are provided by the MNCYN interdisciplinary team and will target program gaps that have been identified by the hospital leadership team. Areas addressed may include:


  • Facilities and physical layout
  • Equipment
  • Human resource management
  • Staff education
  • Practices Guidelines
  • Documentation


More succinct reviews may be conducted by the MNCYN Executive Director and Professional Practice Consultants will focus primarily on staffing and best practice guidelines.


Perinatal health promotion is facilitated through collaboration, cooperation and communication among all partner organizations. The Regional Perinatal Program supports this endeavor through:

  • Participation on Ontario Health and Ontario Health West committees
  • Membership on Provincial Council of Maternal & Child Health (PCMCH) committees and regional dissemination of its perinatal health initiatives
  • Regional Capacity & Flow Meetings
  • Semi-annual Regional Nurse Leaders Meetings
  • Regional Breastfeeding Committee
  • Regional Educators Committee
  • Review and sharing of regional/provincial BORN data
  • Dissemination of resources from the SOGC and CPS
  • Regional chart forms
  • Resource sharing between organizations

The Regional Perinatal Program staff have also collaborated with representatives of our partner organizations to support regional initiatives, such as:

  • Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI)
  • Electronic Perinatal Order Sets
  • Perinatal Capacity Assessment
  • Period of Purple Crying ™
  • Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy

Who We Serve

We serve the MNCYN member organizations and their interdisciplinary staff including:




Registered Respiratory Therapists

Educators and Academics in Perinatal Health Disciplines

Program Staff

Jordan Schmidt, MD, FRCSCObstetrical Co-Director
Kevin Coughlin, BScH, M.D., MHSc, FRCPC, FAAPNeonatal Co-Director
Gwen Peterek, RN, BScN, PNCCPerinatal Professional Practice Consultant
Jocelyn Patton-Audette, RN, BN, IBCLC Regional Nurse Consultant
Henry Roukema, MD, MSc, FRCPCNeonatal Medical Consultant
Kendra SavageProgram Assistant