Nurse Midwife

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BASIC DESCRIPTION

Certified nurse midwives are advanced practice nurses who specialize in providing care to healthy women during pregnancy, childbirth, and after birth. Midwives provide accessible, safe birth care especially in rural and inner city areas. They teach patients and their families about the birthing process and provide the mother in labor birthing information and individualized attention. They provide care in a variety of settings including hospitals, birthing centers, clinics, homes, and offices.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Registered nurse preparation plus a baccalaureate degree (not necessarily in nursing) are required to become a nurse midwife. There are prerequisites that must be met but vary from one organization to another. The typical program averages 12 months, and a master’s degree is the usual degree earned. The certification examination for nurse midwives is offered through the American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification Council.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

■ Strong assessment skills specifically related to this specialty
■ Good communication ability
■ Excellent leadership and organizational skills
■ Understanding of relevant technology
■ Ability to collaborate with other members of the health care team
■ Compassion and caring attitude
■ Ability to deal with a variety of people

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

■ American College of Nurse-Midwives (www.acnm.org or www.midwife.org)
■ American Midwifery Certification Board (www.amcbmidwife.org)
■ Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (www.awhonn.org)

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