What Is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Midwives have a long history; before modern medicine, women and babies were more likely to survive with a midwife's involvement than with a doctor's. Today, certified nurse-midwives continue the tradition of assisting pregnant women during childbirth. Read on to learn more about the career of a certified nurse-midwife. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse (RN) with extensive training in women's health, labor, and delivery. To be certified means that the nurse-midwife has passed the certification exam given by the American Midwifery Certification Board. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published the median annual salary earned by nurse midwives as $103,770 a year.

Job Outlook (2016-2026)21% growth (for all nurse midwives)*
Key Skills Compassion, interpersonal communication, critical thinking, resourcefulness
Work Environment Hospitals, doctors' offices, outpatient care centers
Similar Occupations Nurse assistant, surgical technologist, obstetrician/gynocologist
Median Salary (2018) $103,770 (for all nurse midwives)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties and Responsibilities

A nurse-midwife traditionally assists women with childbirth. As an advanced nursing specialty, nurse-midwife certification allows the holder to provide almost all aspects of women's health care. The certified nurse-midwife may be a woman's primary care provider for all gynecological and maternity issues. In many states, a certified nurse-midwife may prescribe medications.

Education and Training

Certified nurse-midwives typically have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) plus specialized training. RN-to-BSN training programs allow a registered nurse to earn a BSN in two years. As the model moves toward allowing nurse-midwives to have more medical authority and capabilities, states are increasingly expecting nurse-midwife candidates to hold a Master of Science in Nursing, which includes nurse practitioner training. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program takes about two years to complete. Accelerated degree programs are available for registered nurses who wish to earn their BSN or MSN in a shorter amount of time.

Certification

Candidates for the certified nurse-midwife examination must first complete a nurse-midwifery or midwifery program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Many academic degree and certificate programs (including the ones mentioned earlier) meet the ACME accreditation standards. Because states and employers may disagree on the appropriate level of training for nurse-midwives, carefully researching educational programs beforehand is important. Continuing education is required for renewing the certified nurse-midwife designation every five years. More information can be obtained from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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