A certified nurse-midwife, or CNM, is an advanced care registered nurse who gives care and counseling during pre-conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum. CNMs also provide primary health care centered on women and their families all through their reproductive lives.
A CNM can help to cut down on the need for high tech, expensive interventions during child delivery. But CNMs also are trained in all of the most up to date scientific procedures to deal with normal deliveries. 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.
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A nurse midwife has her hands full with a complicated delivery as a couple gives birth to their second child.
Many people in the US think that CNMs only deal with delivery during childbirth. However, this is only a small part of what you will do as a certified nurse-midwife. CNMs only spend about 10% of their work time on dealing with childbirth.
CNMs also work in the following areas, which you should keep in mind if you are considering this exciting and growing health care field:
Provide regular gynecological services
Do reproductive health visits
Regular gynecologic care
About 90% of the work they do with patients are for preventive care.
Where Certified Nurse-Midwives Work
CNMs work in many places. Most often, they work in private practice, hospitals, birthing centers, health clinics and home birth services. There are many places where you can work in this field. but there is a really strong need for CNMs in rural and urban areas.
In this field, there are many directions in which you can go which will affect where you work. You can work in clinical practice, administration and research, education, domestic and global health policy, or even legislative affairs. You also may work in international health programs or in public health here or abroad.
Job Opportunities & Salary Outlook
The career outlook in the field overall is strong, just as it is in all advanced practice nursing roles. We think that this will continue to hold true as long as the birthrate in the US is stable. BLS states that there will continue to be very high demand for all advanced practice registered nurses. This is particularly the case in underserved regions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the mean annual wage in this field is $91,000.
Salary.com states that the median salary in the field is $92,300 while Indeed.com states $88,000
Nursing Midwife Requirements
To become a CNM, you need to first have a bachelor’s degree. Most CNM programs require you to have a bachelor’s in nursing and be a registered nurse, but a few programs are available where you do not have to have a nursing background. After you have your bachelor’s degree, you have to complete a master’s of science in nursing program with a speciality in nurse midwifery. You then need to pass your national certification exam to become a practicing CNM.