Photo of Thornton, Patrick

Patrick Thornton, CNM, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Human Development Nursing Science



845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612


I have practiced nurse midwifery since 1995 in a variety of settings, including 11 years in solo private practice. My research interests include birth settings and outcomes including cesarean, spontaneous birth, maternal and newborn safety, morbidity and mortality and birth centers. I am interested in evidence based care as an ideology and its benefits and limitations.

Selected Publications

Thornton, P. (2018) Uses and misuses of VBAC success calculators Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 63(1),115-120.


Thornton, P. (2017) Characteristics of spontaneous births attended by midwives and physicians in United States Hospitals in 2014 Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, in press Feb 4, 2017


Thornton, P., (2017) McFarlin, B. L., Park, C., Rankin, K., Schorn, M., Finnegan, L., & Stapleton, S. Cesarean Outcomes in US Birth Centers and Collaborating Hospitals: A Cohort Comparison. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 62(1), 40–48.




Illinois Department of Public Health. (2018) Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report.


American Association of Birth Centers.   (2018) Results and executive report on 2016 member survey. Perkiomenville, PA

Service to Community

Illinois Department of Public Health, Maternal Mortality Review Committee, 2017 present


CountyCare Quality Improvement Oversight Committee 2017 present


Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, 2017 present


University of Illinois Hospital Advanced Practice Nursing Committee, 2017 present


American Association of Birth Centers Research Committee, 2016 present


2016 Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Illinois Chicago
Chicago, IL

1999 Master of Science in Nursing,
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

1994 Midwifery Certificate
Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing
Hyden, KY (4.0 GPA)

1987 Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The University of Akron
Akron, OH (Cum Laude)

Licensures and Certifications

Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Neonatal Advanced Life Support

Professional Memberships

American College of Nurse Midwives

American Public Health Association

American Association of Birth Centers

Sigma Theta Tau

Selected Presentations

Thornton, P. (2015). Comparison of birth center and hospital cesarean rates. In 2015 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo (Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 2015). APHA.


Thornton, P. Comparison of Birth Center and Hospital Cesarrean Rates. In: American Association of Birth Centers Birth Institute: Building Bridges (Sept. 22-25, 2016). Pittsburgh: American Associan of Birth Centers)


Thornton, P. Risk characteristics of women attended by certified nurse midwives and physicians in United States hospitals in 2014.  Advanced Practice Nursing Conference Care Through the Ages. (April 6-7, 2017). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.