One of the best things about nursing is the ability to specialize in specific areas that you excel in or have a special interest in. Nurses have well over a hundred different unique specialties to choose from; fields like surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, wound care nursing, and more are all popular specialties. But one of the most popularly selected specialties, Nurse Midwife, tends to hold a special place.
Nurse midwives provide critical medical care, support, and education for mothers and young infants; these specialized nurses follow the entire birthing process from preconception to postpartum. Statistically speaking, nurse midwives play a critical role in the birthing industry in the U.S. According to NurseJournal.Org, “CNMs handle 10% of standard vaginal births in the US each year, and 7% of births total. Of all of these deliveries, about 97% happen in hospitals, 2% in birthing centers and 1% in the home.”
As with any nursing specialty, nurse midwifery requires special training and a coordinated process to gain the proper education, knowledge, and certifications. So, if you’re interested in becoming a nurse midwife, what are the required steps? Below, we’ll outline how you can become a nurse midwife and offer guidance to taking this next step in your nursing career.
To become a certified nurse midwife (CNM) you’ll begin with obtaining a registered nurse (RN) license. Because midwifery is so critical, it’s also recommended that a master’s degree or doctoral degree is also obtained. Whichever nursing program you’re in should offer accreditation for from the ACNM Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Following all educational fulfillments, you will also need to obtain any valid state licenses and certifications.
During your midwifery program, you will be given the opportunity to participate in related clinical experiences to the field. You could spend upwards of 1,000 hours performing related clinical training. Expect to also perform coursework, such as clinical pharmacotherapeutics, advanced pathophysiology, primary care of women, professional issues in midwifery, and more.
Tips for Getting Hired
Following completing all the educational and training requirements needed for CNM licensure, you’ll begin applying for jobs. Just as with any job, this is your opportunity to present to potential employers what you bring to the table – both in experience, education, and workmanship. Nurse.Org put together a comprehensive interview guide specifically for nurses that you can view here to help you along this process.
Once you’ve made it to the other side and are hired into your new CNM position, you’ll generally find the pay pretty competitive. The annual mean wage of nurse midwives is a hefty salary of $102,390 per year.
Are you a nurse midwife or aspiring to be one? We’d love to hear your story! Comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.