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Certified Nurse Midwives (C.N.M.) are advanced practice, clinical nurses who have received graduate-level training in the care of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, C.N.M.s advise women on nutrition, arrange for tests and services (such as ultrasound and amniocentesis), and keep them apprised of the emotional and physical effects of pregnancy. In addition, certified nurse-midwives provide a full range of primary health care services to women, including gynecology check-ups, family planning services, preconception care, prenatal and postpartum care, and delivering babies.

Nurse Midwife programs are usually offered through master's programs in nursing, which also train Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Therefore, nurse midwives are pursuing a Master's of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) at the same time that they train for certification as a Certified Nurse Midwife. In an advanced nursing program, C.N.M.s receive advanced clinical nursing and research experience, as well as extensive training in women's health, labor and delivery.

As for all graduate programs in nursing, C.N.M. candidates are generally required to hold a B.S.N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or they are R.N.s who possess a bachelor’s degree. There are, however, certain programs that allow nurses to enter a master's program with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline.

Degree Information

Midwives pursue a Master's of Science in Nursing degree (M.S.N.) over the course of two years, and through specialized curriculum receive the degree of Certified Nurse Midwife (C.N.M.).

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program

  • What are the clinical facilities like?
  • Where will you do your clinical training?
  • How many hours of clinical experience does the program require?
  • Where is the school located?
  • What is the patient base in the affiliated hospital? Will you be exposed to a range of cultures, economic backgrounds, and environments?
  • Are there joint degree or related certificate programs?
  • Are there accelerated programs for practicing R.N.s?
  • Is part time study available? Can students work as they go to school?

Career Overview

Nurse midwives provide a range of health services and clinical care for women and newborn babies. While C.N.M.s work under the supervision of a obstetrician, they are primarily responsible for managing the cycle of pregnancy and childbirth, including physical exams, ordering appropriate lab tests, outlining care, providing prescriptions, coordinating consultations, and health promotion activities.

Nurse midwives work in hospitals, clinics and birthing centers, and physician's offices, as well as in public health departments and health maintenance organizations. Unlike direct-entry midwives, who deliver children in homes and are not certified in all states, C.N.M.s are licensed to practice throughout the United States. Most insurance companies cover their activities.

Career/Licensing Requirements

To become a Certified Nurse Midwife, graduates must possess an R.N. plus certification from the American College of Nurse Midwives as a C.N.M. (filled by meeting educational requirements), and successfully complete the National Certification Exam.

Salary Information

A new Certified Nurse Midwife can expect to earn around $60,000.

Related Links

American College of Nurse Midwives
The American College of Nurse Midwives licenses nurse midwives.

National League for Nursing
The National League for Nursing is the accrediting body for nurse education programs.

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners is an advocacy and policy oriented organization of nurse practitioners.


  • Advanced Physiology

  • Advanced Health Assessment

  • Advanced Pharmacology

  • Decision Making For Advanced Practice

  • Family Nurse Midwife

  • Pediatric Care

  • Primary Care For Adults

  • Professional Issues In Nurse-Midwifery

  • Theory And Research Applications

  • Women’S Health