How to Become a Midwife
Midwife Careers & Degrees

Midwives are advanced practice registered nurses that assist female patients during the childbirth process.

Also referred to as Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), these professionals are experienced in working with pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy including childbirth and postpartum.

Individuals who want to become a Midwife will need to have a combination of personal characteristics as well as earn an advanced degree, licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse and certification in the midwifery specialization in order to pursue a career in this profession.

Education Requirements to Become a Midwife

Individuals who want to become a Midwife will need to fulfill the requirements of an advanced practice registered nurse in order to seek specialization as a midwife.

Individuals must attend an undergraduate program and a master’s program in order to enter this profession; the minimum requirement is a master’s degree.

In addition, individuals must earn a license as a Registered Nurse (RN), certification as a Midwife and gain clinical experience in order to become a Midwife.

During their undergraduate program, individuals who want to become a Midwife will need to focus on a Nursing degree and attain a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing.

Individuals must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination in order to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Individuals may visit NCLEX to learn more information on licensure requirements.

With a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a license as a registered nurse, individuals may then apply for an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) program to begin a specialization in midwifery.

Many APRN programs also look for individuals who have clinical experience and an extensive background in the sciences.

APRN programs are graduate programs in which individuals earn a Master of Science (MS) in Nursing.

During this master’s program, individuals will need to choose the specialization in midwifery in order to become a Midwife.

APRN curriculum’s include medical topics in some of the following areas: nursing theory, ethics, health policy, healthcare management and physical assessment.

In addition, individuals will also need to focus on their specialization, midwifery during the clinical experience phase of the program.

Individuals will then have to be approved by their individual state’s nursing board.

Individual states will ask for different requirements, but many seek a certification in the APRN candidate’s specialization.

Individuals can find more information on midwifery certification at AMCB.

Midwife Job Description

Certified Nurse Midwives are responsible for providing healthcare services to female patients through all stages of pregnancy.

They will work with other professionals, such as gynecologists and obstetricians, to help treat pregnant individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic or acute illness.

Certified Nurse Midwives will also meet with pregnant patients to take medical histories, document symptoms, perform examinations, and taking diagnostic tests or procedures.

Depending on the state, some midwives are also able to write prescriptions.

Midwives will also be available during the childbirth and post-partum to provide their patients with support and educate them about the birthing process.

Midwife Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for Nurse Midwives was approximately $92,290 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including the industry an individual works in.

For Example, individuals working for a physician’s office can earn up to $97,600 per year while those working for hospital, state, local or private can earn up towards $101,990 per year.

The job outlook for Nurse Midwives looks promising as job opportunities are expected to grow by 29 percent through the year 2022.

This growth in jobs is considered much faster than average and is attributed to the increased demand in healthcare services.

Demand for healthcare services is thought to come from new healthcare legislation expanding coverage of healthcare insurance.

In addition, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can perform many of the same procedures and services as physicians.

With their comprehensive background in nursing and knowledge in midwifery, Midwives play an important role in birth and delivery.

They use a variety of skills including their medical background and interpersonal skills to make sure infants deliveries as safe as possible.

Individuals pursuing this path can be assured they’re choosing a challenging career with opportunities for growth because of the expected job growth.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$108,810
$69K
$86K
$108K
$127K
$158K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alaska$85,920
Arizona$117,700
California$154,500
Colorado$102,520
Connecticut$112,920
Delaware$95,110
District of Columbia$95,990
Florida$84,270
Georgia$98,440
Illinois$104,640
Indiana$112,010
Iowa$104,420
Kentucky$105,890
Maine$115,200
Maryland$118,240
Massachusetts$107,150
Michigan$92,790
Minnesota$121,980
Mississippi$119,640
Missouri$114,140
New Hampshire$108,050
New Jersey$117,280
New Mexico$98,750
New York$120,380
North Carolina$100,730
Ohio$103,930
Oregon$113,580
Pennsylvania$98,680
Rhode Island$108,320
South Carolina$99,590
Tennessee$90,070
Texas$92,560
Utah$104,580
Vermont$94,850
Virginia$94,920
Washington$107,810
Wisconsin$115,100

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $154,500.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

California - $154,500
Minnesota - $121,980
New York - $120,380
Mississippi - $119,640
Maryland - $118,240
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Nurse Midwives, OCC Code 29-1161, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a midwife do?

A midwife coordinates the birthing process and diagnoses conditions related to giving birth.

Midwives may work together or as part of a team.

They usually deliver babies at the hospital, but may also deliver babies at birthing centers or at home.

They usually assist women who want little medical intervention and have had no complications during pregnancy.

Midwives have also the role of providing emotional support to women during labor and delivery and may also advise them during pregnancy about diet, meds, exercise and how to stay healthy.

QuestionHow much does a midwife make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for nurse midwives was $106,910 as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary depending on the midwife’s level of experience, his or her level of education, and the employer.

Some earn less than $70,000 a year, while others make more than $150,000 a year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a midwife?

Education costs vary depending on the level of training you want to complete and the type of licensure you are seeking.

Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) are registered nurses who have passed a national exam after graduating from an accredited nurse-midwife education program.

Certified midwives (CMs) have at least a bachelor’s degree in health science or a related field and must pass a national licensing exam after graduating from an accredited midwifery program.

Some states also allow certified professional midwives (CPM) to practice.

CPMs have several years of training and clinical experience in childbirth and have passed a national exam.

Tuition costs for nurse-midwifery programs vary between $2,500-$4,200 and more depending on the school and the program itself.

In order to earn the title of certified nurse-midwife, you need to become a registered nurse, to have at least one year of experience as a nurse and to complete a midwifery program.

Registered nurses need at least an associate’s degree in nursing but in order to have better job prospects, you should complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

To become a registered nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain a state license.

Bachelor’s degree programs in nursing can cost anywhere between $40,000 and more than $100,000 a year, depending on the school you choose.

QuestionWhat is the demand for midwives?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for nurses, in general, is expected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Midwives will still be needed to assist women who want little medical intervention during childbirth.

To have better job prospects you should obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s or doctoral degree in midwifery from a reputable school.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a midwife?

Nurse-midwifery programs can usually be completed in around 2-3 years.

To be eligible for enrollment at a nurse-midwifery program you will first need to become a registered nurse, and for this, you will need to complete an associate’s program in nursing, which usually is 2-years long or a four-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing.

Before enrolling in a midwifery program you will also need one year of nursing experience.

In conclusion, if you want to become a midwife you will need between 5-8 years of training.

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