What are the Steps to Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife?

To become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), there are several steps before earning the credentials and title to work in the field of Midwifery. The CNM career path is categorized as an advanced practice registered nurse, due to the graduate level education and clinical training involved. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is the title given to those practicing nurses who have completed more education and training than the RN. The first step is to earn the MSN or PhD in Midwifery. This education will provide a CNM with the highest possible chances to engage in a fulfilling career helping with all aspects of the birthing process. The next step is earning the right training and skills to become a CNM. The last step is going for the job that will best fit all your needs. Those who become Certified Nurse Midwives must love birthing, babies, and the community they serve. For those who love it, it is one of the most popular specialized nursing fields.

The Education Process

As an advanced practice nurse, CNMs will have spent a great deal of time in the classroom. The two options for being eligible to become certified as a Nurse Midwife are to earn an MSN with a focus in Midwifery, or to earn a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) in Nursing and Midwifery. Soon, the entry-level position for a CNM is the terminal degree, a PhD or a DNP in nurse-midwifery. Each of the paths of education will create experts of regular nurses. There are only 38 accredited graduate programs that are ACME accredited. These programs are often two years from start to finish, but there are part-time and accelerated options that could lengthen or shorten this time, with the right credentials upon application.

Coursework for CNMs includes childbirth and delivery, neonatal care, women’s and reproductive health, to name a few. The experience year for the CMN is where they learn of how to conduct appropriate consultations and treatment plans as well as other common practices required before anyone can be certified. Both puberty and menopause are subjects discussed in the classroom. All midwifery programs in the United States must be accredited or pre-accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education for a graduate to take the certification exam. At least one year of training as a registered nurse is required to become a certified nurse midwife.

The Job Search

Once the education and year of training are complete, looking for the job that meets all the graduate’s priorities is what will give a Certified Nurse Midwife a sigh of relief after all those steps to get there. Working in a hospital is a very common job for a nurse-midwife, as most U.S. babies are born in hospitals. There are other many other options to consider, as well, when looking for for a job as a CNM. The most common places of work for a certified nurse midwife are the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Physician’s offices
  • Birth centers
  • Home healthcare providers
  • Community clinics
  • Military Bases

The CNM Salary

The salary of a CNM will ultimately depend on who the employer is. Nurse Midwives are consistently the highest paid professionals in the field of Nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average salary is for a practicing CNM is $103,640, as of 2017. The BLS also projects that job growth will continue to rise from 2016 to 2026. States like California, Florida, and New York are becoming favorite places to find work as a certified nurse midwife.