How to Become a Midwife | Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Programs

How to Become a Midwife: Getting into a certified nurse midwife program is the best way to start a midwifery career in any part of the world.

Yes, you might be passionate about helping mothers and newborns, but it might only turn into mere wishes if you don’t equip yourself with the required skills and knowledge of doing that effectively and efficiently.

This is why the importance of CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) cannot be overemphasized.


To help out, we’ve put together this detailed information on how to become a midwife including some certified nursing midwife programs that provide the appropriate coursework and field experience support to help you with your goals.

Read on to learn how to become a certified Midwife.

Who is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

A certified nurse midwife is a sort of advanced practice registered nurse that specializes in childbirth (APRN). They work in hospitals, birthing centers, and private offices, providing care to women from conception to delivery. Most CNMS have received a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in midwifery in addition to their training as registered nurses.

And considering the high qualification and experience required, you must have advanced practice licensure at the state level, along with nurse-midwife certification before starting.

What will be your role as a Certified Nurse Midwife?

As a nurse midwife, you’ll be responsible for a variety of tasks. Where you work has a big impact on what you do. If you run a private clinic, for example, you might take on more responsibilities than you would if you worked at a large hospital. CNMs, in general:

  • Test prospective, expecting, and new parents for STDs and other diseases.
  • Provide breastfeeding knowledge and training.
  • Provide prospective parents with information on newborn care, covering topics like SIDS and colic.
  • Mothers should be prepared for labor and delivery.
  • During and immediately after childbirth, provide care for new moms and infants.
  • During labor, use low-intervention pain treatment and keep an eye out for issues that may necessitate medical intervention.
  • Provide postpartum care for mothers and infants.

How much will I make as a nurse-midwife?

As a certified nurse midwife, you will earn a mean annual pay of $108,810, which is much greater than the average RN salary of $72,180, according to the BLS.

This pay can vary greatly depending on geographic area, job demand, cost of living, kind of company, role responsibilities, and years of experience.


However, the top 10% of earners had annual incomes ranging from $69,000 to over $158,000.

What is Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Job Outlook Like

The demand for licensed nurse midwives in the United States is increasing due to a statewide scarcity of maternity care providers.

Nurse midwives are expected to see a 12 percent increase in job chances by 2029, three times the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) could be beneficial for nurse midwives who desire to advance in their careers.

A DNP is the highest level of education in the area of nurse-midwifery, and it can assist midwives who qualify to teach at universities and take on leadership or management jobs.

Nurse midwives with a DNP could also help enhance maternal and newborn health globally, given the huge demand for women’s healthcare around the world.

Where Can I Work as a Certified Nurse Midwife?

With your certification, there are so many places you can work. You can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Also, you can work for healthcare groups.

Similarly, as a CNM you can be permitted to deliver babies in a variety of settings, including hospitals, free-standing birth centers, and people’s homes.

Note, you will need to collaborate with licensed professional midwives when practicing in out-of-hospital birth settings (CPMs). The only challenging thing that you’ll have to get used to is working day and night. You may even be required to work on-call or at odd hours depending on their position.

How to Become a Certified Nurse Midwife: A Step-by-Step Guide

The path to becoming a CNM can seem daunting at times. The list below walks you through the process of becoming a certified nurse midwife, step by step.

#1.First thing first get a Degree In Bachelor Of Science in Nursing(BSN)

The first thing to do is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in nursing accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. As a full-time student, you can get your degree in four years.

Whereby you enrolled in accelerated program, you may graduate sooner, while part-time students may have to wait an extra semester or year.

#2. Get your Registered Nurse License

Once you graduate, you get a registered nurse license which will require you to sit for NCLEX-RN exam. Note, you must also apply to your state for RN licensure. Basically, each state has its own standards, some of which include an additional exam covering state nursing laws. To learn more, contact your state’s licensing board.

#3. Get a Specialization while working

Nurses frequently work as RNs before obtaining CNM degrees and additional certification. This experience allows you to polish your talents and gain the authority and competence required for advanced practice roles.

You can get extra qualifications during this period to help you prepare for your future employment as CNMs.

The National Certification Corporation, for example, offers neonatal intensive care nursing certification to registered nurses. One year of professional experience and a passing grade on an exam is required for this certificate, which strengthens nurses’ backgrounds in working with newborn newborns.

#4. Enroll in Master of Science in Nurse or Doctor of Nursing practice program with a specialty in Nurse Midwifery

After that, RNs should apply for a master’s degree or a DNP with a nurse midwifery focus. While you can gain certification with either degree, a doctorate can lead to higher wages and additional work prospects.

The standards for admission differ from one school to the next. Most schools, on the other hand, require that all applicants have a bachelor’s degree with a good GPA and an RN license.

Some programs require applicants to have prior experience in midwifery or prenatal care, but many do not. The website of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) has an online database of certified programs.

How to Become a Midwife
How to Become a Midwife

#5. Get a DNP or MSN degree

Getting a master’s program may take you two years to finish, whereas a DNP may take three to four years to complete.

You can pursue advanced nursing courses in graduate school, such as fetal evaluation and antepartum care.

And also complete practicum hours, which allows you to put what you’ve learned into practice while being supervised.

All you have to do is to ensure that your courses and practicum hours meet the standards for nurse midwifery certification and licensing when pursuing a graduate degree.

#6. Get an American Midwifery Certification Board Certification

Before you can get this American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) certification, you must have a graduate degree and a registered nurse license. 

In addition, you must complete the AMCB certification exam.

During this exam, your knowledge of physiology, pharmacology, and clinical decision-making as well as your understanding of safe practice will be evaluated.

#7. Get state Licensure

Similarly to RN certification, each state sets its own advanced practice license standards for certified nurse midwives.

Some states, for example, require nurses who want to prescribe medication to fill out an additional application, while others grant immediate prescriptive authority to any qualified CNM.

On this page from the Midwives Alliance of North America, you may learn more about each state.

#8. Get your Dream Job

CNMs can network at prior jobs or through professional organizations, in addition to browsing internet employment boards. Attending conferences might also help them extend their professional network.

How long will it take to become a Certified Nurse Midwife?

This is dependent on your educational path. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to finish, while a master’s degree takes two years to complete and a doctorate can take up to four years.

As a result, some CNMs may need to go back to school for a decade. Many CNMs, on the other hand, just pursue a master’s degree, while others participate in BSN-to-DNP programs, which let them to forgo the master’s degree entirely.

For this reason, some nurses may devote 6-7 years to education, or even less if expedited programs are chosen.

These three-year nurse-midwifery programs provide bachelor’s-degree prepared students who do not have an RN with the required nursing and midwifery components to earn an RN license and a master’s in nurse-midwifery.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Programs

#1. Baccalaureate degree (BA/BS) to CNM:

These three-year nurse-midwifery programs provide bachelor’s-degree prepared students who do not have an RN with the required nursing and midwifery components to earn an RN license and a master’

#2. Diploma/associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to CNM:

These nurse-midwifery programs equip RNs with a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing with the credits needed to obtain both a BSN and a master’s degree in nurse midwifery.

#3. Traditional master’s degree programs in nurse-midwifery:

This certification program provide bachelor’s prepared RNs a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery through programs organized as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in Nurse-Midwifery or a Master of Science (MS) in Nurse-Midwifery.

#4. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Nurse-Midwifery:

Master’s prepared RNs may pursue a DNP degree in Nurse-Midwifery to complete their graduate-level education in nurse-midwifery.

Some DNP programs are also meant to serve as a bridging program for RNs with a bachelor’s degree.

Post-graduate certificates are developed for graduate-prepared APRNs who desire to add midwifery to their practice.

Can I pay for Mu Nurse-midwifery programs with a Loan and Scholarship?

Yes, of course. In short, considering the high cost of running a nurse-midwifery program, a number of organizations provide assistance to nurse-midwifery students through scholarships and loan programs:

#1. Corps of National Health Service (NHSC) Loan for Nurse-Midwifery students

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides loan payback schemes and scholarships to nurse-midwifery students. The NHSC received 59 CNM scholarship applications in 2014 and was awarded two of them. In 2014, the NSHC received 110 loan applications and funded 38 of them.

#2. The ACNM Foundation, Inc Scholarship for Nurse-Midwifery students

Every year, the ACNM Foundation, Inc. awards up to six $2,000–$4,000 scholarships to ACNM member nurse-midwifery students.

#3. AENT (Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship) is a program for advanced education nursing trainees.

The Advanced Nursing Education Traineeship Program, offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Resources, is designed to pay the costs of tuition, books, and fees connected with an advanced nursing education. During the 2013-14 academic year, 66 students were awarded awards.


If you wish to start a career as a midwife, you will need to get relevant education in this area of healthcare.

There are a large number of certification and diploma courses that can prepare you for such a career in up to six months.

Once you have completed the course, you can sit for state-run midwife licensing examinations that will let you start a career in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become a Midwife

How to become a midwife?

To be allowed to pursue a midwife’s career in United States, you need to be a certified midwife. Certifications are provided by the North American Midwifery Association.

More so, you could gain a formal midwifery degree by attending schools for midwifery such as Utah School of Midwifery, Ancient Art of Midwifery, New Mexico School of Midwifery, Seattle School of Midwifery,

Florida School of Midwifery, Oregon School of Midwifery, and many others. These schools provide bachelor’s, associate’s, and master’s degrees.

How to become a Mid Wife in the US?

It is mandatory to clear the licensure examination in the United States to become a certified midwife.

Upon completing high school degrees, students interested in becoming midwives need to take up a Bachelor degree in midwifery.

Nonetheless, you can take up the graduate studies on the same track and sit for the licensure examination to clear the exam and be a certified midwife.

What are the required education steps to become a midwife?

The required educational steps to become a midwife include taking up a certificate or a degree program to be a midwife.

These certificate and degree programs both offer comprehensive course work alongside the practical experience.

However, to be able to practice your profession legally, you will need to clear the certification exam, and only then will you be allowed to be a certified midwife in US.

What you need to be a midwife in the healthcare field?

It is necessary to attain midwifery education in order to qualify as a midwife.

There are certain midwifery programs offered at medical schools such as a diploma in midwifery or a certification program in midwifery.

After completion of these programs, students are eligible to appear for the midwife registration and licensing exams set by the American Board of Registered Midwives.

What are the eligibility steps to be a midwife?

The eligibility steps to be a midwife such as the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) are quite precise. The applicant does not necessarily have to be a nurse.

They need to have experience in out-of-hospital birth. They all have to pass stringent written and oral tests. Programs should be accredited by recognized midwifery associations and commissions.

Practical experience at homes and other birthplaces is a must before being approved as a midwife.

Are there any online schools to become a midwife?

Midwifery education is offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels by many online schools.

Institutes offering online graduate-level degrees in midwifery include the University of Cincinnati, Philadelphia University,

Georgetown University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, and the University of Newcastle.

Which schools and universities offer degree programs to become a midwife?

Midwifery degree programs are offered by a number of universities and schools to students interested in this field.

Students can also earn this degree by enrolling in online programs offered by accredited online schools.

Top Universities that offer programs to become a midwife include the following: Vanderbilt University, University of California, Oregon Health and Science University, and the University of New Mexico.



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