Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are specialists who offer counseling and medical services for women during conception, pregnancy, birth, and the post-birth phase. CNMs work closely with certified midwives (CMs) to offer family-based medical services to women during all reproductive phases.
Midwifery decreases reliance on invasive medical procedures or technology during delivery, but midwives typically understand when these procedures and technology are needed. Currently, CNMs assist in about 10 percent of every birth nationwide. Most CNM-assisted births take place in hospitals, while about 1 percent occur in private residences.
It’s often assumed that midwives only assist women during childbirth. However, they also assist women during all phases of the reproduction and birth process. Typically, CNMs and CMs devote 90 percent of their time offering services unrelated to delivery.
CNMs and CMs also administer basic gynecological services, such as reproductive health checks, yearly examinations, and services for women going through menopause. In most cases, women seeking the services of these specialists request preventive and primary care. These specialists are employed by various healthcare providers. They frequently refer their patients to gynecologists and other medical specialists when necessary.
CNMs and CMs offer vital services, and they frequently meet with doctors to discuss patient care. When this occurs, women receive exceptional reproductive health services.
Nurse Midwife Academic Requirements
To become certified as a CNM or CM, you must complete an accredited training program and pass a certification examination. Currently, there are 42 training programs nationwide that are accredited. 4 programs are classified as certificate programs, while 39 are classified as graduate-level programs. To work in a clinical practice, you must earn a graduate degree.
To be admitted to most programs, you must possess a bachelor’s degree and be licensed as a registered nurse, but many programs seek students from non-nursing backgrounds. Certain programs only admit registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN).
Certified midwives can practice with a bachelor’s degree unrelated to nursing, but certified mid-wives must hold bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Typically, registered nurses without bachelor’s degrees must earn one prior to admission into a CNM program. Certain programs permit students with associate’s degrees to earn bachelor’s degrees and complete CNM training simultaneously.
Since most schools offering CNM and CM programs have small staffs, limited amounts of students are admitted into them. In many cases, first-time applicants are rejected, but students who reapply often get admitted. Information about midwifery training programs can be obtained from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).