Midwives are licensed professionals who provide healthcare services to women in a variety of ways and settings. Midwives are often associated with assisting with prenatal care and the entire birthing process, but their jobs entail that and much more. In addition to labor and delivery, midwives also provide gynecological care for patients, give advice regarding family planning, assist patients with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, prescribe medications, and order laboratory testing. Midwives generally work in gynecologists' offices, hospitals, private practices or in birthing centers.
Midwifery programs are governed by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). All schools that offer midwifery degrees must be accredited by this organization. After completing an accredited program, graduates are eligible to take the American Midwifery Certification Board exam to become a certified nurse midwife.
In order to become a midwife, a graduate degree is needed, usually a Master's of Science in Nursing with a concentration in midwifery from one of the many accredited midwifery schools in the United States. There are two options for potential midwives who are entering a program, but only one is recognized in all fifty states. The first option is a certified nurse midwife which requires a bachelor's degree in nursing before entrance into a graduate program. The other option is a certified midwife which is only recognized in some states. This option does not require a bachelor's degree in nursing. In addition to a bachelor's degree, there are stringent prerequisites before and during a midwifery program that must be met in order to graduate. Some schools will allow registered nurses who hold an associates degree in nursing entry into a midwifery program but only after the completion of certain requirements. Furthermore, because there are so few programs in the United States, entrance into a midwifery school is extremely selective.
Master of Science in Nursing
Entry into an MSN degree program requires that students have a bachelor's degree in nursing and are a licensed registered nurse. Many programs will need prospective students to provide several letters of recommendation, receive satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and have an undergraduate grade point average that meets or exceeds the school's minimum requirements. Often, schools will want applicants to have experience in the field of midwifery, and some schools even require an interview with faculty.
MSN programs are generally extremely intensive and have stringent guidelines before students will be eligible for admission and graduation. Students are expected to contribute to the midwifery program through learning, research, teaching, and leadership. Most programs not only require a substantial amount of coursework related to the subject of midwifery, they also require students to complete over 500 hours of clinical work in the field. This will usually take 2-3 years. Potential classes that students can expect to take during the program might include:
Graduates of an MSN in Midwifery program will then be eligible to take the exam to become a certified nurse midwife. Certified nurse midwives can find employment in a variety of places including:
Since many registered nurses do not have a bachelor's degree, those nurses who have an associate degree in nursing can enter some MSN programs. However, many of these programs will require these students to complete a bachelor's degree and then their master's degree before they will be able to become certified nurse midwives.
Master of Science in Midwifery
Another option to become a midwife is directed towards students who hold a bachelor's degree in a subject other than nursing but would like to become midwives. There are very few schools that will allow this transition, but students should keep in mind that after they complete the master's program, they will only be eligible to become certified midwives. Unlike certified nurse midwives which are recognized in all states, certified midwives are only recognized in a few states - New York, New Jersey, Delaware. Furthermore, those students who are not nurses will be required to meet many prerequisites in order to obtain a midwifery degree. Possible courses in this program include:
The MS in Midwifery usually takes 2-3 years to complete, and is similar in content to the MSN program. Graduates are qualified to work in all of the same places as certified nurse midwives, only in a limited number of states.
We found 16 schools offering nursing midwifery degree programs in the U.S.
|Baystate Medical Center - School of Nurse Midwifery||Springfield||MA||8|
|Institute of Midwifery Women and Health||Philadelphia||PA||27|
|Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science||Los Angeles||CA||99|
|Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing||Hyden||KY||205|
|Baylor College of Medicine||Houston||TX||1192|
|Oregon Health & Science University||Portland||OR||1905|
|The University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston||Galveston||TX||1927|
|Medical University of South Carolina||Charleston||SC||2346|
|University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey||Newark||NJ||4666|
|The University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso||TX||15224|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia||PA||21853|
|University of Cincinnati - Main Campus||Cincinnati||OH||27327|