Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) work with pregnant women and families throughout a pregnancy to ensure the best health for both mother and child. A nurse midwife may conduct tests on both the mother and unborn child to monitor the progress of a pregnancy, determine risk factors, and provide treatment for any issues that arise during pregnancy. Nurse midwives are often present when their patients give birth to provide support and administer treatment such as epidural injections.
Degree Options and Career Information
MSN Nurse Midwifery programs include both scientific and sociological courses relating to motherhood and childbearing. Nurse midwives need to learn basic nursing skills as well as antepartum and postpartum care techniques for mothers and children. Nurse midwives learn to detect signs of problem pregnancies, and can provide counsel on whether a totally natural birth is advisable, or whether painkillers or even surgical intervention is necessary.
Health promotion, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, and medical data management classes are all part of a CNM’s coursework. Midwives historically advocate to empower women and promote their self-determination during pregnancy, and by extension, in the rest of their lives.
- CNM Requirements: To practice as a CNM you must first earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing, and be able to practice as a registered nurse. Then you can complete a Master of Science in nursing with a specialty in nurse midwifery. CNMs must be certified at the state or national level to practice.
- Work Environment: CNMs can work in cooperation with a physician or as part of an independent midwifery practice, or in a hospital or other large medical facility. Long hours on your feet and frequent phone calls in the middle of the night are par for the course, but the rich rewards of helping mothers have happy, healthy pregnancies are a strong motivating factor for CNMs.