Nurse Midwife - How to Become a Nurse Midwife

Nurse Midwife

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Nurse Midwife Job Description

 

Advanced practice registered nurses who provide counseling and care before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth are Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). They provide counseling services and care from pre-conception, through pregnancy and childbirth and into the postpartum period. CNMs and their colleagues, including certified midwives (CMs) also provide primary health care that is family-oriented throughout the reproductive lives of their women clients.

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Responsibilities

 

The need for high-tech interventions for women during labor can be reduced by the services of a skilled midwife. Midwives are also trained to assist in normal deliveries by utilizing the latest scientific procedures. CNMs attend approximately 10 percent of all non-induced vaginal births in the United States. At all births in general, you will find a Certified Nurse-Midwife in attendance at 7 percent of them. A full 97 percent of these deliveries occur in hospitals, 1.8 percent happen in freestanding birth centers and 1 percent occur at home.

A common misconception is that midwives do nothing but assist with births. Being in attendance at the birth is an integral and rewarding part of the job but it is only a fraction of what midwives actually do. CNMs/CMs spend about 10 percent of their time giving direct care to women who give birth and their newborns afterward.

CNMs/CMs also provide routine care to women, in addition to the services they provide before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth. Approximately 90 percent of all the patient visits to a CNMs/CMs are for primary and/or preventive care. Routine gynecological services that may be provided by CNMs/CMs include:

  • Reproductive health visits and screenings

  • Annual exams and other regular gynecologic care

  • Peri-/post-menopausal management care

CNMs/CMs are highly trained, skilled health professionals who provide services in a variety of clinical settings. They diagnose and treat patients as well as providing referrals to a specialist when needed. The CNM/CM is a vital member of the health care team. They collaborate closely with physicians to provide women with an optimal combination of primary and preventative care, which includes specialized serviced as needed.

Midwives come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Some earn their midwifery degree immediately after they graduate from college. Others are former professionals in other areas, such as teaching, writing, missionary work, or general practice nursing who begin their midwife careers later.

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Skills

 

Physical Endurance

Must be able to stand for long hours and move around constantly, as they are on their feet all the time and need to be able to respond quickly to situations as they arise.

Stress Management

They must manage the stress and pressure that comes with their job.

Empathy

Being able to relate to patients on an emotional level and understand what they go through is super important for CNM/CMs because interact with women in vulnerable and painful situations.

Organization

Must be able to situate tasks and documents so as not to mix up records or medications.

Communication

They must communicate between patients and their families so they have to communicate clearly and relay information at a high level.

Patience

Becoming a nurse midwife and advancing in the field takes time, so it's important to take it slow and easy and save yourself a ton of anxiety.

Detail-Oriented

Must pay close attention to handling drugs to avoid a mix up that may seriously harm a patient.

Critical Thinking

Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.

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Working Conditions

 

CNMs and CMs may work in any of the following settings:

  • Private practice

  • Hospitals

  • Birthing centers

  • General health care clinics

  • Home birthing services

The opportunities for employment as a CNM or CM can be found in many different locales and environments, but there is an especially acute need for CNMs/CMs in areas that are underserved by all health professions in general.

Some of the different career opportunity options for CNMs/CMs include the following:

  • Clinical practice

  • Education

  • Administration

  • Research

  • Domestic and global health policy, including legislative affairs

  • Public hospitals

  • Private practices, including in-home birthing services

  • University settings, including teaching hospitals

  • Military hospitals and clinics

  • Public health clinics

  • International health programs and charities

The hours that a CNM/CM may work during a typical week will vary, depending on the type of care provided and the location.

 


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How to Become a Nurse Midwife:

  

To become a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) or a Certified Midwife (CM), completion of a nationally accredited program must be accomplished first. Then successful passing of the national certification exam is required. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) currently recognizes 42 accredited programs in the United States. Of these, 39 are graduate programs and four are post-baccalaureate certificate programs. Successful completion of a graduate degree is necessary for entry into clinical practice in the United States.

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

A bachelor’s degree is required for applicants to enter almost all programs. The majority of programs also require that applicants be a registered nurse (RN). A growing number of programs, however, are now geared toward students who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Although not required by some, many do require that entering RNs hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

Those not holding a BSN, but have either a BA or a BS, can become certified midwives (CMs). Those holding a degree in nursing (BSN) can become Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). If you are an RN who does not hold a bachelor’s degree, you are generally required to complete a BSN before being accepted into a CNM program. There are some programs that incorporate a flexible option for nurses with associate degrees to complete their bachelor’s coursework in the course of the CNM program.

 

2. Complete a Nurse Midwifery Program

 

Most CNM/CM programs have a limited number of available spaces to admit new students each year. This is due to the intensive faculty-to-student ratio necessary to train a quality midwife. Many prospective students are not accepted the first time they apply to a program because of this situation. This should not prevent the applicant from re-applying. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) maintains a list of midwifery education programs that you can contact if you are interested in that specific program’s prerequisites.

 

3. Earn the Required License

 

All 50 states offer licensing to CMNs. Although CMs are required to meet the same rigorous standards of practice as CNMs, the only states currently offering licensure to CMs are New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. This relatively new option for preparation is growing in popularity, however. There is virtually no difference in the scope of clinical services provided between a CNM and a CM. There is also little significant difference between a CNM and a CM prepared at the certificate level versus the master’s level.

Once you complete your program you can get certified through the American Midwife Certification Board (AMCB). The test is a computer based test that is comprised of 175 multiple-choice questions. Once you pass the test, you will become a CMN or CM. 

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.28.2016
High energy and enthusiasm needed for busy clinic settings in Holyoke and Springfield. Successful completion/graduation from accredited Nurse Midwife Program and current Massachusetts Certified Nurse Midwife licensure required. Must have clinical...
11.28.2016
Responsible for patient care to include prenatal, antepartum and postpartum care including delivery; 1st surgical assist for c-sections, annual and gyn care for midwife pts. Req licensed MA Nurse Midwife, Certified by ACNM; 3-5 yrs exp in OB/GYN...
11.28.2016
Under the supervision and direction of the Medical Director of OB/GYN and other attendants, the Certified Nurse Midwife provides prenatal care in the L&D/Triage area for WakeMed Faculty Physicians. Functions as an educator and preceptor for...
11.28.2016
Certified Nurse Midwife Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Nurse Practitioner Location: Cambridge, MA Department: Ob/Gyn Employment Type: Per Diem Union Name: TCH MNA-TCH Mass Nurses Assoc Work Days: Certified Nurse...
11.28.2016
Under the direction of the Vice President/CNO Nursing Services, functioning within the policies and procedures of WFH-Iowa. The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) may provide direct care for the uncomplicated pregnant woman prenatally, during labor...
11.28.2016
Master's Degree Centra Medical Group is seeking a Certified Nurse-Midwife for its CNM run practice located in central Virginia. The CMG Women's Center is a highly successful hospital-owned full-scope midwifery practice. Midwives see the full...
11.28.2016
The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) functions within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Olmsted Medical Center as a provider of inpatient and outpatient prenatal, antenatal, and postnatal care, including gynecologic and preventative...
11.28.2016
Graduate from an accredited program. BLS certification required MN licensure required prior to start JOB SUMMARY The St. Lukes Obstetrics and Gynecology Midwife practices medicine under the direction and supervision of an...
11.28.2016
The team members number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
11.28.2016
The team members number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
11.28.2016
Principal Duties and Responsibilities C=Competent N=Needs Improvement* 1. Renders full-scope midwifery care to selected clients in accordance with agreed-upon protocols, and in accordance with the Standards of Practice of Nurse-Midwifery of the...
11.28.2016
Principal Duties and Responsibilities 1. Renders full-scope midwifery care to selected clients in accordance with agreed-upon protocols, and in accordance with the Standards of Practice of Nurse-Midwifery of the American College of Nurse-Midwives...
11.28.2016
12.01.2016
Provide nurse-midwifery care to a caseload of clients within TriHealth. Maintain competence in providing healthcare services to clients of all ages and/or developmental levels. Comply with a Standard Care Agreement with a physician for practice...
12.01.2016
Provide nurse-midwifery care to a caseload of clients within TriHealth. Maintain competence in providing healthcare services to clients of all ages and/or developmental levels. Comply with a Standard Care Agreement with a physician for practice...
  1. Nurse Midwife Springfield, MA Sisters of Providence Health System
    High energy and enthusiasm needed for busy clinic settings in Holyoke and Springfield. Successful completion/graduation from accredited Nurse Midwife Program and current Massachusetts Certified Nurse Midwife licensure required. Must have clinical...
  2. Certified Nurse Midwife Newburyport, MA Anna Jaques Hospital
    Responsible for patient care to include prenatal, antepartum and postpartum care including delivery; 1st surgical assist for c-sections, annual and gyn care for midwife pts. Req licensed MA Nurse Midwife, Certified by ACNM; 3-5 yrs exp in OB/GYN...
  3. Nurse Midwife- OB/GYN Raleigh, NC WakeMed Health & Hospitals
    Under the supervision and direction of the Medical Director of OB/GYN and other attendants, the Certified Nurse Midwife provides prenatal care in the L&D/Triage area for WakeMed Faculty Physicians. Functions as an educator and preceptor for...
  4. Certified Nurse Midwife Cambridge, MA Cambridge Health Alliance
    Certified Nurse Midwife Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Nurse Practitioner Location: Cambridge, MA Department: Ob/Gyn Employment Type: Per Diem Union Name: TCH MNA-TCH Mass Nurses Assoc Work Days: Certified Nurse...
  5. Certified Nurse Midwife Waterloo, IA Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
    Under the direction of the Vice President/CNO Nursing Services, functioning within the policies and procedures of WFH-Iowa. The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) may provide direct care for the uncomplicated pregnant woman prenatally, during labor...
  6. NURSE MIDWIFE CERTIFIED Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree Centra Medical Group is seeking a Certified Nurse-Midwife for its CNM run practice located in central Virginia. The CMG Women's Center is a highly successful hospital-owned full-scope midwifery practice. Midwives see the full...
  7. Certified Nurse Midwife Rochester, MN Olmsted Medical Center
    The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) functions within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Olmsted Medical Center as a provider of inpatient and outpatient prenatal, antenatal, and postnatal care, including gynecologic and preventative...
  8. Nurse Midwife-OB-Gyn Duluth, MN St. Luke's Hospital
    Graduate from an accredited program. BLS certification required MN licensure required prior to start JOB SUMMARY The St. Lukes Obstetrics and Gynecology Midwife practices medicine under the direction and supervision of an...
  9. Nurse Midwife Winston-Salem, NC Novant Health
    The team members number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
  10. Nurse Midwife Winston-Salem, NC Novant Health
    The team members number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
  11. Certified Nurse Midwife Cambridge, MA Mount Auburn Hospital
    Principal Duties and Responsibilities C=Competent N=Needs Improvement* 1. Renders full-scope midwifery care to selected clients in accordance with agreed-upon protocols, and in accordance with the Standards of Practice of Nurse-Midwifery of the...
  12. Certified Nurse Midwife Cambridge, MA Mount Auburn Hospital
    Principal Duties and Responsibilities 1. Renders full-scope midwifery care to selected clients in accordance with agreed-upon protocols, and in accordance with the Standards of Practice of Nurse-Midwifery of the American College of Nurse-Midwives...
  13. Nurse Midwife Certified St. Paul, MN HealthEast Care System
  14. NURSE MIDWIFE - DIVERSIFIED SERVICES Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    Provide nurse-midwifery care to a caseload of clients within TriHealth. Maintain competence in providing healthcare services to clients of all ages and/or developmental levels. Comply with a Standard Care Agreement with a physician for practice...
  15. NURSE MIDWIFE - DIVERSIFIED SERVICES Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    Provide nurse-midwifery care to a caseload of clients within TriHealth. Maintain competence in providing healthcare services to clients of all ages and/or developmental levels. Comply with a Standard Care Agreement with a physician for practice...