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.
Midwifery Programs for Aspiring Midwives to Consider:
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.
Trends in Midwifery Education
There are approximately 40 midwifery education programs in the United States accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). All ACME-accredited programs adhere to the core curriculum necessary for safe beginning practitioners of midwifery that are required for accreditation. Each individual program has its own admission requirements and offers different pathways and degrees. The information in the links below outlines the admission requirements, program structure, clinical opportunities and the financial aspects of the current ACME accredited midwifery education programs.
What do the CNM and CM credentials mean?
Midwifery Education Trends Report 2013 continues
an overview of factors that affect the growth of the midwifery workforce,
specifically those factors related to midwifery education. Using aggregate data
from the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and the
American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), trends in the numbers of
applications to, available spaces and enrollment in, and graduation from
ACME-accredited programs, as well as numbers of newly AMCB- certified midwives
are reviewed for the years 2008-2012.
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.