Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) provide
health care involving emotional and physical support to women before,
during, and after childbirth. They are registered nurses with specialized
training in assisting pregnant women and their newborn babies. CNMs must
complete an accredited program of study and clinical experience in
obstetrical care. Certified nurse midwives participate in a variety of
services that include providing gynecological services like Pap smears and
breast examinations, advising women about reproductive health and personal
care, and monitoring the health of the mother and fetus during pregnancy.
They also perform complete prenatal care including abdominal and pelvic
examinations and evaluations. Another important service that CNMs provide
is educating women and their families about childbirth methods, infant
care, nutrition, and proper exercise. They work closely with obstetricians
and other physicians when medical treatments and medications are
necessary. Certified nurse midwives have played a vital role in
drastically reducing the maternal and infant death rate in this country.
Anyone interested in this field of nursing should enjoy working with
people and be able to develop strong interpersonal relationships.
Certified nurse midwives are employed in hospitals, health maintenance
organizations, birthing centers, public health departments, community
health centers, and private practice. They may also work in the mother's
home during home births if conditions are safe and suitable.
High School Preparation:
Students interested in nurse midwifery should take high school courses in
biology, chemistry, algebra, health occupations/medical professions
education, psychology, sociology, computer skills, physical education,
home economics, English, and history.
Individuals interest in becoming a certified nurse midwife must be a
registered nurse before entering a midwifery program. They must then
complete an accredited educational program to earn either a certificate or
a master's degree. Upon completing the educational requirements,
candidates must pass a written examination given by the American College
of Nurse Midwives.
Students interested in nurse midwifery should contact schools for
information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
According to the US Department of Labor, nursing is the largest health
care related occupation in the country. It is also a profession that is
experiencing a nation-wide shortage especially in specialized areas such
as midwifery. Employment opportunities for certified nurse midwives are
excellent and are expected to grow 21%-35% through the end of the decade.
Quality prenatal care will continue to be a high priority in the field of
obstetrics, and will therefore spur growth in this sector. There will also
be a demand for nursing educators and administrators who will be
responsible for teaching the next generation of certified nurse midwives.
Average Annual Salary
American College of Nurse-Midwives
818 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 728-9860
Fax: (202) 728-9897
American Nurses Association
600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 W.
Washington, DC 20024-2571
Phone: (202) 651-7000
Maternity Center Association
281 Park Avenue South, 5th floor
New York, NY 10128
Phone: (212) 777-5000
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