Careers in healthcare are among the most satisfying, rewarding jobs available today. Even more poignant, though, are jobs that involve working with babies, their mothers and families, and the whole reproductive process. One such position that offers this opportunity is that of a Certified Nurse Midwife or CNM.
What Is a Certified Nurse Midwife?
A highly specialized position, a Certified Nurse Midwife is an advanced practice nurse who is involved in all aspects of childbirth and primary healthcare for women. Certified Nurse Midwives deliver counseling and care in each stage of the process—pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, and post-delivery. In addition to counseling, CNMs work with other professional individuals to provide primary healthcare to women throughout their procreative lives. During the actual birthing process, midwives are responsible for caring for the mother and anticipating needs so as to diminish the need for technological interventions; however, should an intervention be necessary, midwives are also trained in these processes to be able to assist.
What Is the Process for Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife?
As the Certified Nurse Midwife title is an advanced degree, becoming a CNM takes some time as well as several steps in the educational process. To begin the process, individuals must first complete a nursing program. This program could involve a path to receive a Nursing Diploma, an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); however, most midwifery programs require that applicants have a bachelor’s degree. After completing the initial nursing program, passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is the next step in the process. At this point, an individual is considered a Registered Nurse and she or he can begin working as an RN.
To continue the process toward becoming a Certified Nurse Midw ife, an individual should work a minimum of two to four years in an obstetrics-related field. After working in the field for the standard time period, completing a Master’s of Science in Nursing specializing in Nurse Midwifery is the next step. Once this level of education has been met, the final step is becoming certified through the American College of Nurse Midwives Certification Council (ACNM) or a similar organization.
What Can CNMs Expect?
After completing the education and certification process, Certified Nurse Midwives can expect to be involved very heavily in all aspects of women’s pregnancies as well as the reproductive lives of women. Certified Nurse Midwives are able to assist in delivering babies as well as providing prenatal and postpartum care. Many midwives also work alongside gynecologists and obstetricians to provide women the most holistic approach to healthcare and wellness.
What Is a CNM Career Like?
Like most other positions in the healthcare field, a career as a CNM is very structured. CNMs are responsible for direct patient care and are heavily involved on the patient end of provision. CNMs have the opportunity to work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, birth centers, private practices, and even home birth centers.
Offering a median salary of $70,000 as well as the opportunity to experience the miracle of birth, Certified Nurse Midwives have a great opportunity for fulfillment and enjoyment in their careers.