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ACNM Ultrasound Education Task Force

In 2013, the ACNM Board of Directors approved the formation of a joint task force with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) to explore how best to support midwives’ ability to become credentialed and reimbursed for performing ultrasound. There are two groups of ACNM members working on this charge. A group of midwife ultrasound experts have formed the “Midwives Examination Development Task Force” and are working collaboratively with ARDMS to create a midwife specific exam. Those midwives will be working directly to create specific test questions that determine knowledge of technology and midwifery management of care when ultrasound is utilized. In February of 2014 the ACNM Ultrasound Education Task Force was created and charged by the Board of Directors to establish access for members to didactic ultrasound education and hands-on clinical training for the development of a defined ultrasound curriculum. Two subcommittees are currently working on developing midwifery education content and opportunities for hands-on experience. The task force has agreed to adapt a rubric originally published by Lathrop and Blackburn (2011) for members to use to develop a portfolio to document competency achievement for hands-on ultrasound care. In addition, the Task Force will be accountable for reviewing available programs for potential partnerships and advising on the development of new ACNM content or program opportunities. Learn more about the ARDMS Midwife Sonography Certificate examination.

Didactic content

ACNM encourages an ultrasound educational component that includes the following,

1. Physics and instrumentation relevant to type of exam to be performed (e.g., physics of ultrasound, proper use of machine and transducer selection, ALARA principle).

2. Required elements and components as described by AIUM for a specific exam to be performed (e.g., imaging parameters for each trimester).

3. Required anatomic landmarks defined by AIUM pertinent to type of exam to be performed (e.g., landmarks for biometry).

4. Indications for exam (e.g., indications for POC versus the Standard Examination).

5. Clinical implications of normal and abnormal findings (e.g., documentation, communication, consultation).

6. Ultrasound safety (e.g., output, frequency, length of exams).

7. Components of a complete ultrasound report (e.g., orientation of image, documentation).

8. Client education (e.g., explanation of procedure, communication of results).

9. Additional didactic content can be specific to type of sonograms to be performed (e.g., first-trimester dating vs. cervical length).


Clinical component

By the completion of the clinical component, each midwife will be able to perform OB/GYN ultrasounds by successfully visualizing each anatomic structure and obtaining the necessary measurements in the following areas: physics and instrumentation relevant to the exam being performed. Instruction will include,

1. Required elements and components as described by AWHONN, ACOG or AIUM for the type of exam to be performed.

2. The required anatomic landmarks as described by ACOG or AIUM pertinent to the type of exam to be performed.

3. Indications for type(s) of exam(s) being performed.

4. Clinical implications of normal and abnormal findings,

5. Ultrasound safety.

6. Components of a complete ultrasound report.

7. Patient education.

8. Process of informed consent regarding the scope and limitations of the various ultrasounds performed.

Currently, there is no recognized mechanism that is tailored to the midwifery scope of practice that enables midwives to demonstrate their proficiency in ultrasound. The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) will introduce an ultrasound exam specifically designed for midwives. ARDMS has conducted a job task analysis to define the scope of this exam. Notification of the projected examination dates will be forthcoming.


Task Force Members

Terri Clark, CNM, PhD, FACNM, Graduate Nurse-Midwifery Track Lead, Seattle University

Carolyn Gegor, CNM, MS, FACNM, Former Program Director, Midwifery Program, Georgetown University

Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon, CNM, Program Director, University of Washington

Ann Konkoly, CNM,

Anthony Lathrop, CNM, ARDMS, Indiana University Health

Cydney Afriat Menihan, CNM, RDMS, (ex-officio advisor to the task force), past-chair, Perinatal Productions

Vanessa North, CNM, Major, USAF, 48th Medical Group, Lakenheath, UK

Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz, CNM, CFNP, (Task Force Chair), UNM Concentration Coordinator for the Nurse-Midwifery Program

Staff Liaisons

Eileen Beard, Senior Practice Advisor, ACNM


ACNM (1996). Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound in the Third Trimester (Clinical Bulletin No. 1) Washington, D.C.

ACNM (2012) Position Statement: Midwives’ Performance of Ultrasound in Clinical Practice, retrieved from

ACNM (2011) Standards for the Practice of Midwifery, retrieved from

ACNM (2010) Position Statement: Midwives’ Performance of Ultrasound in Clinical Practice, retrieved from

ACOG (2009). Ultrasonography in pregnancy. Practice Bulletin 101, retrieved from

AIUM (2007) AIUM Practice Guideline for the Performance of Obstetric Ultrasound Examinations, retrieved from

For more information, please contact ACNM Senior Practice Advisor Eileen Beard at (240) 485-1842 or [email protected].

American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
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