Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Helping to bring another new life into the world doesn’t necessitate a long residency or medical school background. A certified nurse midwife program can allow you to work intimately with a new mother from pre-pregnancy to birth and eventual recovery after birth. With specialized training, a certified nurse midwife can be a valuable asset to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

To become a certified nurse midwife, there are several factors that you need to consider. Many students will need to become registered nurses prior to enrolling in a certified nurse midwife program. This allows the student to have a basic background as well as qualified experience in nursing prior to focusing on one specialty. When a nurse completes the midwife program, he/she will receive either a certificate of completion or a master’s degree in nursing. The nurse will also need to pass an examination that is administered by the American College of Nurse Midwives.

During training to become a CNM, the student will receive hands-on clinical training with a registered certified nurse midwife. The various job responsibilities of a certified nurse midwife allow for complete reproductive health care for a woman of childbearing age and include:

  • Gynecological services, including pap smears and breast examinations
  • Education about self-care as well as reproductive issues and concerns
  • Education about birth control and other family planning methods
  • Prenatal care for the mother, including advice about eating, exercising, vitamin taking, etc.
  • Examinations of the pelvic region and abdomen as the pregnancy progresses
  • Education about various childbirth options
  • Helping the mother with infant care
  • General reproductive health services
  • In medical emergencies, CNMs may work closely with an obstetrician

There are various settings in which a certified nurse midwife may be employed, including hospitals, private ob-gyn offices, public health sectors, birthing centers, private practice, and HMOs. With the experience and skill sets of CNMs on the rise, infant mortality rates are on the decline and overall pregnancy health of many mothers has been vastly improved.

In terms of salary, certified nurse midwives can expect, on average, approximately $57,600 annually, with bonuses and incentives in areas with higher demand for midwife services. Over time, this salary can increase to nearly $90,000.

It is important to note that while a CNM is able to deliver children in a variety of settings, in certain emergency situations an obstetrician’s expertise is required. These situations include Caesarean section, oxygen deprived child, some breech babies, and other complications.

Interested in becoming a CNM? You’ll need an advanced degree from a nursing school. Begin your search here:

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