How to Become a Nurse Midwife: Steps to Starting a Career In 2022

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Program Overview

Anyone interested in how to become a nurse midwife — whether pursuing a first-time role in healthcare or switching career paths within the medical profession — should know that the steps involved include getting an education with a strong background in science and becoming an RN. Some nurse midwives are RNs in hospital labor and delivery units who decide to further specialize.

Professionals interested in switching careers, including those already in the healthcare field, should consider the role’s requirements, determine which of them they may already meet, and look into programs that can help them meet the rest.

Nurse Midwife Education Requirements

Nurse midwife education requirements generally include a master’s or doctoral degree. Nurse midwives’ college or university training typically includes both classroom and clinical instruction in a program accredited by an organization such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Degrees Needed to Become a Nurse Midwife

The first step in a nurse midwife’s education is a bachelor’s. To prepare for master’s-level work, undergraduate college students may choose courses that deal with topics such as the following:

  • Nutrition
  • Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Lifespan development
  • English composition
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

Most nurse midwife positions require at least a master’s in midwifery or nursing, and many require a higher-level degree such as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Students generally pursue these degrees in accredited programs that include in-class and clinical experience and cover the following subject areas:

  • Advanced health assessment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Other courses focused on nurse midwife responsibilities, such as sexual and reproductive health

Licensing Requirements for a Nurse Midwife

Requirements for APRNs, including nurse midwives, vary by state. However, they generally include an RN license. Licensure requires knowledge of these subjects:

  • Nursing skills
  • Record and note taking
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Biological sciences
  • Public and community health
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Health assessment

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All RNs must hold state licenses that indicate they have the skills and competencies required to perform the job.

In addition to education and training requirements set by each state’s medical board, applying for a license requires passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The American Nurses Credentialing Center accredits the NCLEX-RN, which is a six-hour, multiple-choice exam. NCLEX-RN exam topics include those related to providing quality care, administering appropriate medication, and mitigating risk. Each state has its own requirements for licensing renewal and continuing education hours.\

What is the meaning of midwife nurse?

noun. plural nurse–midwives. Britannica Dictionary definition of NURSE–MIDWIFE. [count] : a nurse who is also a midwife and who delivers babies and cares for the mother and baby before and after the baby’s birth.

Is a midwife higher than a nurse?

In addition to training as a nurse, the nurse-midwife has completed a higher education program (either a master’s or doctoral degree with a focus in midwifery) and performed hundreds to thousands of additional clinical hours both managing primary care patients and attending births during their training.

Certification for Being a Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives must pass the American Midwifery Certification Board examination within two years of earning a master’s or doctoral degree — and they are allowed four attempts to do so. The computerized, multiple-choice exam lasts four hours.

The exam covers the following six content areas aimed at showing competency in providing care as a certified nurse midwife:

  • Antepartum, or just prior to childbirth
  • Intrapartum, or during labor
  • Postpartum, or following childbirth
  • Newborns
  • Well women care
  • Primary care

Nurse midwives must recertify every five years through the Certificate Maintenance Program, a process that includes continuing education.



Also Read: Student Nurse Intake for South African Citizens 2023

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