Being a midwife can be a great choice for those who are pursuing womencare services. Midwives work in hospitals, birthing centers, and at home to provide care for women and their newborn babies. Currently, in the United States, there are 3 specific types of midwife certifications that you can consider. Before you pursue the career path, this post helps you to determine state regulations by determining 3 types of certification for Midwives.
Difference between CM and CNM
Before exploring Midwives’ certifications, you should understand the difference between Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Certified Midwife (CM). The two titles are used to describe midwives and their responsibilities involve giving care to the same patient group. Both CNMs and CMs need to have bachelor’s degrees and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
A CNM is an RN with a degree in nursing, while a CM isn’t an RN owing a bachelor’s degree in any subject that meets the requirements for science and health components. Some states don’t recognize the CM designation and require licensure status. CMs are limited in the scope of their work to pregnant or postpartum women. Therefore, most CMs tend to get certification to enhance their working scope.
Three Types of Certification for Midwives
1. Certified Nurse Midwife
To certify as a nurse-midwife, you will get training as both Registered Nurses and Midwives. If you are considering a position as a certified nurse-midwife, you must attend a midwife education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. You also need to have a nurse-midwife certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board to supervise your clinical education.
After completing these programs, you are eligible to get a master’s degree or a doctorate. When earning the certified nurse-midwife credential, you also become licensed in any of the 50 states.
2. Certified Midwife
Certified midwives or direct-entry midwives attend an accredited midwifery program. They have the same clinical competencies as a certified nurse-midwife. Typically, to enroll in these programs, applicants need to have experience in a health-related field. The main difference between the 2 credentials is that you don’t need a Registered Nursing license when becoming a certified midwife.
Certified midwives and certified nurse-midwives also have the same responsibilities, clinical skills, and the certification exam. However, a certified midwife program is a good option for those who own a bachelor’s degree or have healthcare experience but yet licensed as registered nurses.
Currently, certified midwives are eligible to become licensed in New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York. However, regulations and laws regarding midwifery licensing vary to change for each area. If you are interested in shifting to a certified midwife, please check with the American Midwifery Certification Board to know the latest state licensing information.
3. Certified Professional Midwife
This is the third type of certification in midwifery. The scope of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) is prenatal, childbirth, postpartum, and 6-8 weeks of care for mother and their baby. CMPs must be certified through the North American Registry of Midwives. Certified professional midwives don’t need to hold a specific degree or be registered nurses, but this midwife certification requires experience in home births.
To get the CMP certification, you will have different paths, for example, you can join a midwife program accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council. Completing the North American Registry of Midwives portfolio evaluation process is a common option to become a Certified Professional Midwife. This process includes an evaluation of education and clinical experience and requires a relevant rigorous writing to earn the certification. You can gain experience through formal programs, apprenticeships, or a double combination.
Currently, according to the American Midwifery Certification Board, Certified Professional Midwives are regulated in 27 states. Some states license CPMs but others require you to obtain a permit to practice.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the employment of midwives has steadily risen since the mid-2000s. Midwifery will become a growing field for medical students to consider. Therefore, you will be eligible to practice as a midwife varies by state by obtaining one of these three certifications.