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.