- The Basic Requirements
- The Advanced Requirements
- The Continuing Education Requirements
Anyone considering a career as a midwife should first research the educational requirements. Find out what you need to do to become a midwife.
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The Basic Requirements
Midwives must complete a tertiary education qualification in midwifery, which is a three to four year program. In order to be eligible to practice, midwives must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
A High School Diploma or GED
While there are no formal education requirements for becoming a midwife, most midwives have a high school diploma or GED. Some programs may require applicants to take and pass a basic skills test.
Completion of an accredited Midwifery Education Program
In order to practice midwifery in the United States, a woman must complete an accredited Midwifery Education Program. These programs are typically three-year Master’s degree programs, although some may be four-year programs. Many of these programs include a year of clinical training, during which the midwife-in-training cares for women throughout their pregnancies, assists with deliveries, and provides postpartum care. During their clinical training, midwives also rotate through various obstetric and gynecologic specialties in order to gain a well-rounded education.
In addition to completing an accredited Midwifery Education Program, prospectivemidwives must also pass a national certification exam in order to become licensed practitioners. The most common certifying bodies for midwives in the United States are the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the National Certification Corporation for the Ob GYN (NCCOG).
Once they have completed their formal education and passed their national certification exams, midwives must stay up-to-date on the latest advances in their field by completing continuing education credits on a regular basis. Most states require midwives to complete at least 30 credits every three years in order to maintain their licenses.
The Advanced Requirements
In order to become a midwife, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in midwifery, which can be completed in four years. After you have completed your degree, you must then complete a one-year internship. Once you have completed your internship, you will then be eligible to take the Midwifery Certification Exam.
A Master’s Degree in Midwifery
In order to become a certified midwife, you must have a minimum of a master’s degree in midwifery from an accredited institution. In addition to your coursework, you will also be required to complete a clinical practicum in order to gain hands-on experience working with patients.
Certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) is the national certifying body for midwives in the United States. To be eligible to take the AMCB’s Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) examination, candidates must have received a bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing and completed a graduate-level nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
In addition to the ACME-accredited program, candidates must also have completed at least 500 clinical hours during their nurse-midwifery education. These clinical hours must be distributed among the five core areas of midwifery: antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, gynecology, and well-woman care. After passing the CNM examination, candidates are awarded the credential Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM).
The Continuing Education Requirements
In order to become a midwife, you must first complete a midwifery program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). After you have obtained your degree, you must then pass the national certifying exam, which is administered by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). To maintain your certification, you must complete continuing education (CE) requirements every three years.
30 hours of continuing education every three years
All certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) must complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) every three years. Of the 30 required CE hours, a minimum of 16 hours must be earned in activities related to clinical practice, which may include:
-1-4 hour home study course
– Participation in grand rounds or case conference
– Preceptorship (one-on-one mentoring with an experienced CNM or CM)
– Journal club discussion
– Online continuing education courses
The other 14 CE hours may be earned in activities unrelated to clinical practice, such as management, leadership, research, professional development, or ethics.
A recertification exam every six years
In order to maintain their certification, midwives must participate in continuing education (CE) and recertification every six years. The National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC), which administers the certified nurse-midwife (CNM) credential, requires completion of 45 contact hours every three years and a recertification exam every six years.