Nurse-Midwifery Education Program

What Is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education to provide specialized health care to women regarding the following areas:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • The postpartum period
  • Care of the newborn
  • Family planning
  • Gynecological care
  • Primary care

Certified nurse-midwives also prescribe drugs and order diagnostic and laboratory tests.

Education

Certified nurse-midwives in Kansas and Missouri possess the following to provide care:

  • Graduate education from a pre-accredited or accredited university;
  • A state board of nursing license;
  • Passing results from a rigorous national exam conducted by the American Midwifery Certification Board;
  • Continuing competency to practice as an advanced-practice nurse, dually recognized by Kansas and Missouri state boards of nursing.

Outcomes

According to Nurse-Midwifery in 2008: Evidence-Based Practice (American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2008), which is a summary of research on midwifery practice in our country, care provided by certified nurse-midwives results in these benefits:

  • Decreased infant and neonatal mortality;
  • Increased patient satisfaction;
  • Increased spontaneous vaginal delivery rates;
  • Decreased claims against obstetric care providers;
  • Lower costs (1-9).

Approximately 11% of all spontaneous vaginal births and 7% of all births are attended by certified nurse-midwives (National Center for Health Statistics, 2007). Approximately 97% of CNM-attended births occur in hospitals, 2% in freestanding birth centers and 1% at home (ACNM, 2008).

Philosophy

Certified nurse-midwives believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a normal and beautiful part of the life process. They devote time to personalized attention and consider all physical, social and cultural needs of each woman by supporting these principles:

  • Women to be active participants in their own health;
  • Non-intervention in a normal process of labor and birth;
  • Referral of complications to collaborating physicians;
  • Family involvement;
  • Continuity of care.

Philosophy of the American College of Nurse-Midwives can be found at: www.midwife.org/philosophy.cfm.

Last modified: May 29, 2013
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