About the Midwifery Profession
Pathways to Midwifery Education
Midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. This means that midwives perform physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory tests as needed, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages. Women, children, and families have better lives because of the work of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs). The American College of Nurse-Midwives is the professional association that represents CNMs and CMs.
Trends in Midwifery Education
Midwifery education programs leading to the CNM and CM credentials involve graduate education. Most programs require a Bachelors Degree for entry, but some will accept Registered Nurses (RNs) without a Bachelors Degree, providing a bridge program to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prior to the midwifery portion of the program. Some programs leading to the CNM credential require a BSN prior to entry, but many will accept an individual who has a Bachelors Degree but is not an RN, and will provide an accelerated nursing education prior to the midwifery portion of the program. Programs leading to the CM credential require a Bachelors Degree and specific health and science courses prior to entry.
What do the CNM and CM credentials mean?
Midwifery Education Trends Report 2011 identifies trends in factors that affect the ACNM goal of producing increasing numbers of midwives to meet the maternity and women’s health care needs in the United States and abroad. Numbers of applications, admissions, available spaces and graduates of ACME-accredited midwifery education programs from 2005 through 2009 are reviewed, as well as highlights from the 2009-2010 midwifery education program directors’ survey.
There are many routes to becoming a midwife in the United States, and several different legally-recognized midwifery credentials.
Are CNMs and CMs legally recognized?
Learn more about options for financing your midwifery education.
Legal recognition for CNMs and CMs varies among states.
Read answers to the most frequently asked questions about becoming a midwife.