You’re passionate about supporting women and newborns through a holistic and patient-centered approach. You want a healthcare career that allows for both autonomy and team collaboration and you’re determined to land a lucrative position. If this sounds like you, becoming a certified nurse-midwife is an excellent way to thrive professionally while working with the population you’re most passionate about. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that CNM roles will grow by 12% by 2029, there has never been a better time to get started.
As more students are becoming interested in certified nurse wife careers, schools are creating additional programs to keep up with the demand. With so many education options, choosing the online CNM program that’s right for you will take some research, but we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how you can become a certified nurse-midwife from reviewing top programs to finding the answers to your most common questions.
Top Online Certified Nurse Midwife Programs of 2020
As the number of online certified nurse-midwife programs continues to grow, doing research is an important step to beginning your journey. Because not all CNM programs are created equally, you need to find one that matches your academic, career, and financial needs. Because many students work while enrolled, finding time to conduct extensive research can be a challenge. That’s where we come in. We’ve vetted the top online certified nurse-midwife programs across the U.S. with the accreditation that employers want and the affordable price tag that you need. Check out some of the top options for 2020-2021 below.
FAQs About Online Certified Nurse Midwife Programs
As you decide whether to invest your time, energy, and money into an online CNM program, it’s natural for you to have lots of questions about the process and what to expect. The following section highlights some common questions and provides the answers you need to get started.
Paying for Your Online Certified Nurse Midwife Program
Data from CollegeBoard shows that the price of postsecondary education continues to rise each year. If you’re like many students, finding ways to lessen your expenses is an important consideration when considering next steps. Fortunately, many financial aid options exist if you know where to look.
Scholarships & Grants
Because scholarships and grants don’t require repayment as long as you meet all conditions of the award, they’re a great option for making a dent in the cost of college. Universities, professional associations, government agencies, and medical organizations all provide this type of funding.
After exhausting other funding and savings options, student loans provide the needed funds to bridge the gap between available money and your outstanding balance. Federal student loans offer low, fixed rates and varied options depending on degree level and student classification.
At the graduate level, research and teaching assistantships allow you to gain valuable experience while also earning a stipend and/or tuition remission. Fellowships can also provide similar funding, as can some internships. If you qualify under the terms of your FAFSA, you may also be able to do approved work for your school in exchange for an hourly wage via a work-study program.
Accreditation Standards for Certified Nurse Midwife Programs
Because working as a nurse depends so heavily on receiving the proper education needed to gain and maintain licensure, attending an accredited school and program is incredibly important.
Accreditation comes in two forms: institutional and programmatic. In addition to finding a regionally accredited school, it’s also important to find a properly accredited program. The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education currently accredits 38 programs and provides a database highlighting each.
If you cannot easily find information about institutional and/or programmatic accreditation on a school website, the U.S. Department of Education provides the Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs that can be easily searched.
Getting Your CNM Professional License & Certification
Anyone who plans to work as a nurse-midwife must maintain licensure in their state. Each state sets licensure requirements, but these typically include:
- An active and unencumbered RN license
- A master’s degree in nurse-midwifery or higher
- A passing score on the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam
- An active and unencumbered APRN license
Check with your state’s board of nursing to learn about specifics and make sure you meet all the requirements. The American Midwifery Certification Board examination costs $500 and can be scheduled at your local PSI testing center. The board releases scores twice per month. After successfully passing the exam, your certification remains valid for five years.
Careers & Salary Outlook for Certified Nurse Midwives
If you’re looking for a solid and secure career path, nurse-midwifery can offer you that. Although a relatively small field – currently there are 7,200 nurse-midwives in the U.S. – the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that these roles will grow by an impressive 12% between 2019 and 2029, leading to the creation of an additional 800 jobs.
Jobs for CNMs are expected to continue expanding in the coming years due to nurse-midwives’ ability to perform many of the same functions as obstetricians, an increased emphasis on and awareness of preventative care, and the retirement of many aging professionals in the field.
How much do CNMs make?
Like other nursing professionals, CNMs earn annual median salaries far above the national average for all occupations. As of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that these professionals brought home average wages of $105,030 annually. Earners in the lowest 10% received $82,460 while those in the top 10% commanded salaries of more than $184,180 during the same time frame. The BLS reports that hospitals pay the highest salaries, followed by outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices.
Continuing Education & Related Degrees
The field of nurse-midwifery continues to change and evolve as emerging research and findings help push the field forward and improve patient care outcomes. Because of this, CNMs need to stay on top of new practices and approaches. Continuing education helps them do this and can boost salary potential along the way.
When it comes to continuing education, CNMs should know this will be a career-long commitment. As with other jobs in healthcare and nursing, staying up to date on emerging research, new methodologies, and best practices is incredibly important to competent care and continually improving patient outcomes.
To maintain both certification and licensure, nurse-midwives must complete a minimum number of continuing education credits during each renewal period. The American Midwifery Certification Board requires 20 continuing education credits. Check with your state board of nursing to learn about license renewal mandates around continuing education.
Related Degrees to Consider
- MPH in Maternal and Child HealthPursuing a master’s in public health in maternal and child health could be a great option if you want to research and address underlying behavioral, developmental, environmental, and epidemiological issues affecting the health and wellbeing of these two groups. Most programs last two years and allow you to work in public, private, and nonprofit settings.
- MSN in Women’s Health Nurse PractitionerIf you want to support women’s health throughout the lifespan but have less interest in labor and delivery, becoming a women’s health NP might best support your interests. These programs educate you on women’s health issues across the lifespan and how to treat them, with options for leadership roles available. Programs take two or three years to complete, depending on your previous degree.
- BSN in Labor and DeliveryA great first step if you’re considering nurse-midwifery but want to test the waters, these programs allow you to work under the direction of an obstetrician or nurse-midwife to provide care for both mothers and newborns. Some employers accept an ADN but the BSN route makes you a more competitive applicant. If a first-time student, plan to spend four years enrolled.
Resources for CNM Students & Professionals
- American College of Nurse Midwives: The ACNM serves as a professional association for nurse-midwives across the country by providing awards, fellowship, student opportunities, advocacy, and continuing education.
- American Midwifery Certification Board: The AMCB provides all the information you need to become – and stay – certified as a nurse-midwife.
- Day in the Life of a Nurse-Midwife: The University of Texas Medical Branch provides this insider look at the typical day of a nurse-midwife to help you know what to expect.
- Journey to Midwifery: This podcast provides more than 50 episodes from midwives telling their story of entering the profession.
- Midwives Alliance of North America: This association has been around since 1982 and provides research, advocacy, webinars, virtual meetings, and an annual conference.
- National Association of Certified Professional Midwives: Joining NACPM provides you with access to fellowships and internship opportunities, healthcare policy initiatives, webinars, and industry news.
- Steps to Becoming a Midwife: The Global Midwife walks you through the steps of entering this field and provides her tips for success.
- What Does a Certified Nurse Midwife Do? Oakdale OBGYN answers this question and more in its helpful YouTube video