How Does One Go About Becoming a Midwife?
Routes For Certification
There are several routes available in midwifery education. One must decide if she wishes to be a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), a Certified Midwife (CM), or a lay midwife.
CNM’s are all registered nurses who have completed a nurse-midwifery program certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). They are legal in all states, most practicing in hospitals and/or birth centers. A very small percentage do homebirths.
CPM’s are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). They are not required to be RN’s, however they must meet rigorous requirements and pass the NARM examination, requiring both didactic and practical skills. There are various educational routes currently available that meet the CPM standards, which is the Midwifery Model of Care. These specialize in births outside of hospitals, particularly in homes and free-standing birth centers. CPM’s are currently regulated in 38 States.
CM’s are credentialed by ACNM. This is a relatively new certification (since 1996), which does not require a nursing degree, but does require at least a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution. They must meet the same standards as the CNM in their midwifery education. CM’s are currently licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, but authorized by permit in Delaware and Missouri.
Lay Midwives are not certified or licensed as midwives, but have been trained through apprenticeship and self-study. Their legal status is limited to only a few states.
- Hartland College – Online Seventh-day Adventist midwifery program (includes Childbirth Educator and Doula course, midwifery assistant course, then midwifery I, II, III)
- Midwifery Education Accreditation Council – Find accredited midwifery schools.
- National College of Midwifery – Distanced-based accredited school
- Bastyr University – Campus-based midwifery masters program, both regionally accredited and MEAC accredited
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