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Six Ways for College Students to Prepare for Midwifery School

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You can begin preparing for a career in midwifery as early as your freshman year. Here are smart steps to take in college if your ultimate goal is to become a midwife:

1. Choose courses that include a solid science background

Science courses like biology, microbiology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology are typical prerequisites to most midwifery programs. Courses in nutrition, algebra and statistics, lifespan development, English composition, sociology, and psychology are also helpful and often required.

2. Consider a degree in nursing

A bachelor's degree in nursing sets you up for a smooth transition into a graduate midwifery program. In fact, most midwifery programs are in schools of nursing, and some programs require applicants to be registered nurses (RNs) prior to entry into midwifery school.

The skills, knowledge, and expertise acquired in a professional nursing degree also provide a solid foundation for a career in nurse-midwifery, which is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

3. Consider alternative majors

If you wish to enter midwifery directly without also educating as a nurse, there are currently two accredited education programs for Certified Midwives (CMs). Graduates are eligible to take the same certification exam that nurse-midwifery graduates take. CMs are legally recognized in 9 states (DE, HI, MD, ME, NJ, NY, OK, RI, VA) and the District of Columbia.

A degree in women's studies, anthropology, sociology, or psychology may be useful in your future work as a midwife. Many midwifery programs leading to the certified nurse-midwife credential have available accelerated nursing education prior to midwifery training. This path involves education as a nurse after your other bachelors degree, but can result in a more diverse and well-rounded education.

4. Volunteer

Participate in extra-curricular activities that are related to health care, such as volunteering at local health clinics or women's health centers.

5. Read

Read books that describe the lives of present day American midwives. (Click here for ACNM's selected reading list.)

6. Network

Talk with practicing midwives, women's health nurse practitioners, doulas, and childbirth educators in your local community. You can also network with ACNM on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acnmmidwives.

American College of Nurse-Midwives
409 12th St SW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024-2188
Phone: 240.485.1800
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