Certified Midwives, also referred to as Certified Nurse Midwives assess, diagnose and treat female patients before conception, during pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum. Midwives work independently or along side physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Nurses specializing in the field may also provide general healthcare for women during their reproductive years. General care often includes health maintenance, gynecological treatment and preventative medicine. Certified Midwives gain employment in private, public and military medical settings that include clinics and hospitals. Administration, education and research remain other occupational options. Certified Nurse Midwives might also become instrumental in establishing public health policies that range from local to global environments.

Nurse Midwives initially become registered nurses having a Bachelor of Science degree. Nurses then progress to master’s and doctorate degree programs that specialize in pregnancy, infant delivery and postpartum care of the mother and child. Certified Midwives may also extend their knowledge and practice concerning the various aspects of general health issues that commonly affect women throughout their lifetime. Some may additionally acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to the health and well-being of individuals spanning all genders and ages. Coursework typically includes basic pregnancy management, normal and high-risk pregnancy issues along with infant delivery procedures. Graduate students generally require a specified amount of time in clinical settings that combine classroom knowledge with real life situations. Upon graduation from an accredited midwife program, nurses become eligible for certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board or similar organizations. Nurse Midwives also must pass state board licensing examinations for individual states. As with other medical professionals, Certified Nurse Midwives must complete continuing education courses and renew certificates and licenses as required by state regulations.

An annual starting salary for nurse midwives averages anywhere from $60,000 for individuals completing a master’s degree program to $75,000 for nurses with a doctorate degree. Salary remains largely dependent on geographical location, experience and number of hours worked weekly. Certified Midwife opportunities in the state of Michigan for example, may begin around $72,000 dollars for full-time employment in smaller communities for new graduates. Experienced nurses employed full-time in the larger cities of the state might earn around $106,000 annually. Midwife nursing salaries in California vary from $71,000 for new graduates to over $123,000 for experienced nurses.

Labor Statistics reports indicate that because nurse midwives have advanced educational degrees combined with specialized clinical training, employment options will continue growing from the year 2012 through the year 2020. Inner cities and rural communities especially look promising as Certified Nurse Midwives increasingly offer generalized care that lowers consumer and employer cost. As more and more women desire having home birthing experiences and natural childbirth, the expertise a midwife offers increases in demand. The numerous career fields available to advanced practitioner nurses also broadens the realm of employment options.