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Overview of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program in Nurse Midwifery

Majors Overview March 28, 2018

This article talks about the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program in Nurse Midwifery and its educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, continuing education and certification options.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program in Nurse Midwifery

Advanced practice nurses involved in providing primary care for adolescent girls, women, and infants, with a special emphasis on reproductive care and maternity are called nurse midwives. Registered nurses (RNs) who aspire to become nurse-midwives can benefit from enrolling in an MSN program with a midwifery concentration. After they complete the program, program graduates can obtain nurse-midwife certification through the passage of an exam.

The skills and knowledge necessary for prescribing medications – components of the scope of practice by nurse-midwives in some states – are available to enrollees. They also become adept at ordering diagnostic tests, conducting regular health exams and referring patients to specialists. Participation in clinical training complements traditional classroom learning.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. However, registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree are accepted in some programs (the American College of Nurse-Midwives). An associate degree in nursing may suffice the requirement of an aspiring registered nurse. Applicants are commonly required to have a minimum amount of professional experience as a registered nurse and/or a current nursing license.

Coursework

Students become adept at providing checkups, diagnosing and treating health conditions, and promoting disease prevention for children and women. Program coursework typically covers clinical education, providing students with hands-on training in a variety of settings, such as experience with childbirth. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Neonatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care
•Gynecology
•Women’s health
•Pathophysiology
•Nutrition
•Managing health problems
•Pharmacology
•Symptom evaluation
•Family planning

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2016-2026 decade, high demand has been predicted for advanced practice nurses such as nurse-midwives (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Nurse-midwives are expected to enjoy the best job opportunities in regions that have a high need for medical treatment, these include settings in rural and urban areas, such as home birth services, birthing centers, hospitals, private practices, and health centers. In May 2016, nurse-midwives brought in an average annual wage of $107,460 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Certification Options

Qualifying nurse-midwives may obtain certification from organizations such as the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). They can gain certification through graduation from an ACNM-approved program, gaining of a valid nursing license and passage of an exam. Students can pursue continuing education by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree, a terminal nursing degree that could lead to research opportunities in nurse-midwifery.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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