MSN: Nurse Midwifery & Women’s Health Degree Programs & Career

Midwifery is the healthcare profession that provides care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. Nurse midwives, or certified nurse midwives (CNMs), provide additional primary health care to women, including family planning advice, gynecological examinations, prenatal care, and neonatal care. Nurse-midwives, along with clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners, are one of the four types of advanced practice nurses. Being a registered nurse (RN) and holding at least a master’s degree in nursing are pre-requisites to becoming a nurse-midwife or women’s health nurse practitioner.

How to Become a CNM

To become a certified nurse midwife, students typically complete the following steps:

  1. Complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program
  2. Earn a Registered Nurse Certification
  3. Meet the professional experience conditions
  4. Enroll and complete an MSN degree in nurse midwifery
  5. Obtain CNM certification and proper licensure (requirements vary by state)

CNM Salary and Career Information

The expected salary, career growth, and work environment for a CNM might include:

  • According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2013, the average salary of Nurse Midwives is $92,230.
  • Job Prospects: Very good to excellent
  • Job Setting: Private practices, hospitals, women’s health clinics

CNM Qualifications

To become a CNM, students are typically required to meet the following job qualifications:

  • Obtain an MSN degree accredited by Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)
  • Obtain certification through the American College of Nurse-Midwives

CNM Job Description

A CNM is typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Provide labor and delivery services in a setting of the patient’s choice
  • Educate patients about birth control and other family planning methods
  • Provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal maternity care to expectant mothers
  • Conduct gynecologic examinations and prescribe medication (prescriptive authority varies by state)
  • Monitor the health and the progress of infants with frequent follow-ups and consulation