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About the Midwifery Profession


Midwifery as practiced by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs®) and certified midwives (CMs®) encompasses a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence beyond menopause. These services include the independent provision of primary care, gynecologic and family planning services, preconception care, care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, care of the normal newborn during the first 28 days of life, and treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections. Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment. They conduct physical examinations; prescribe medications including controlled substances and contraceptive methods; admit, manage and discharge patients; order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests and order the use of medical devices. Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling. These services are provided in partnership with women and families in diverse settings such as ambulatory care clinics, private offices, community and public health systems, homes, hospitals and birth centers.

This information comes from the ACNM Standard Setting Document “Definition of Midwifery and Scope of Practice of Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives” (2012). For the full text, please see click here.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs)
are educated in graduate-level midwifery programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). CNMs and CMs pass a national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM (if they have an active RN at the time of the certification exam) or CM.



American College of Nurse-Midwives
8403 Colesville Rd. Ste. 1550 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240.485.1800 Fax: 240.485.1818
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