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Become a Midwife

Being or becoming a midwife requires rigorous educational preparation as well as a commitment to improving sexual and reproductive health care. This section of the ACNM website provides a multitude of resources for aspiring midwives, new midwives, and those in all stages of their careers.

Many different starting points for a career in midwifery are possible! Review information about these, and don't miss the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you've received your midwifery education in another country, the pages for midwives educated abroad will highlight the steps you must take in order to practice in the US.

For midwives who are returning to practice after time away from the profession, and for all those looking for midwifery jobs, we have suggestions and resources available for you. Looking for Continuing Education information? You've come to the right place.

Interested in a teaching career? We have networks for midwives who teach nurses, midwives, medical students and residents, and a wealth of resources for midwifery preceptors. You'll also find information about our sister organizations: the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), which administers the national certification exam leading to the CNM and CM credentials, and to the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), which accredits midwifery and nurse-midwifery education


  • About the Midwifery Profession
    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.

  • Pathways to 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.

  • Midwifery Programs for Aspiring Midwives to Consider
    There are approximately 38 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.

    Although ACNM has worked hard to keep this information current, education programs are dynamic. Prospective students should reference the original program website and/or contact the program director to verify that this information is still accurate.

  • Financial Aid
  • Trends in Midwifery Education
    Midwifery Education Trends Report 2015 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.

  • What do the CNM and CM credentials mean?
    There are many routes to becoming a midwife in the United States, and several different legally-recognized midwifery credentials.

  • Financial Aid
    Learn more about options for financing your midwifery education.

  • FAQs
    Read answers to the most frequently asked questions about becoming a midwife.
  • High School Students
  • Six Ways for College Students to Prepare for Midwifery School
  • Nurse-Midwifery: A Natural Fit for Nurses
  • Career Changers

American College of Nurse-Midwives
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