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Career Profile of a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Job Descriptions December 4, 2012

If you are a registered nurse aspire to become a certified nurse-midwife, you will need to receive a certificate in midwifery after passing an examination conducted by the American Midwifery Certification Board; in addition, holding a Master of Science (M.S.) degree. Pregnant women depend on the assistance of CNMs during childbirth and post-pregnancy; these women look to CNMs for the provision of healthcare for both them and their infant.

Wage Potential

In October 2010, a CNM earned an average annual salary ranging from $70,703 and $85,809 (source: CNMs engaged in gynecology practices and obstetrics earned slightly more than those who worked in hospitals. Nurse-midwife without certification tends to earn $27,000 less in annual wages than CNMs.

Job Responsibilities of a Certified Nurse Midwife

Women in all stages of pregnancy rely on certified nurse midwife for assistance with post-delivery and childbirth. Gynecologists and obstetricians want CNMs to work closely with them and help them diagnose and treat women with chronic and serious ailments. CNMs educate and counsel patients, perform examinations and take specific medical histories. CNMs engaged in taking comprehensive medical histories of patients whom they examine; such patients are counseled and educated by the CNMs.

They are involved in the performance of diagnostic procedures and tests; alternatively, they may get technologists to perform such tests. Some states allow the prescription of pharmaceuticals by CNMs. Additionally, CNMs usually help with tasks relating to administration such as the maintenance of patients’ detailed records. Male patients with sexually transmitted diseases or reproductive health issues may depend on CNMs to treat their condition.

Job and Education Prerequisites of Certified Nurse Midwife

To become a certified nurse-midwife, you must be a registered nurse holding a master degree in nursing midwifery. Many aspiring CNMs launch themselves in this career path by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, followed by getting a Registered Nurse license by successfully taking the National Council Licensure Examination. Thereafter, they enroll for an accredited M.S. in nursing program with midwifery as their major.

CNMs need to pass the American Midwifery Certification Board examination to become certified. Registered nurses need licensure to be able to work in all of the nation’s states and other U.S. territories.

In order to apply for enrollment to an M.S. in nursing program, registered nurse who has already earned a nursing certificate or an associate degree in nursing will be able to enroll into RN-to-BSN programs with a reduced curriculum that will allow them to complete such studies in one-to-two years at most.

Apart from fulfilling the education requirements, RNs must be considerate and able to savor the pleasure of working with women from different backgrounds ranging from teen years to post-menopausal years. They need the ability to work efficiently within teams and boast exceptional communication skills; particularly, they need to listen to patients with compassion and empathy.

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