A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse who has completed further training in a graduate program. As a profession, nursing is on a dramatic, upward trajectory for available positions, and nursing specialties like midwifery are also in great demand, particularly in states like California.
If you're looking to advance your career as a nurse, entering a certified nurse midwife program in California is a path to consider. Contact the schools on our site to learn more about your options for study.
A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is different from a lay midwife in that a CNM has completed a master's or doctoral program and is a licensed nurse. In addition, certified nurse midwife programs traditionally require applicants to already be a registered nurse with the prequisite training and experience.
Midwifery is an ancient profession with a long history of dedicated professionals helping women enter labor and deliver safely. Midwives have been at the bedsides of women for centuries, but the certified nurse midwife is a professional with clinical experience and significant knowledge of women's health issues. Your training to become a certified nurse midwife will usually provide comprehensive knowledge of women's reproductive health which means you may offer other services including annual exams, health counseling, and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.
Midwives are an incredible asset to any medical facility. A recent article from Peninsula Press, which is associated with Stanford University, says some hospitals in the San Francisco area have midwives available to assist patients 24 hours a day. They provide additional help with volunteer doulas. Midwives help promote natural births, breastfeeding, and work to reduce the likelihood of cesarean section procedures. You'll want to contact California programs directly to learn more about program requirements and direction.
As you enter training in your nurse-midwifery program, you'll learn standard medical processes, but you'll also learn how midwives approach their profession. Rather than treating childbirth as a medical event, midwives are trained to understand pregnancy and birth as a natural event. Your program should prepare you to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) where you'll complete your training by taking the official exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
Depending on your current educational level and work experience, you'll enter a standard 2-year graduate program or a post-master's certificate program to complete your training to become a certified nurse midwife.
Classes you may take include Women's Health, Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Family Theory. In addition to relevant topics in the classroom core, you'll also take part in extensive clinical preparation during each semester of the program. Your clinical rotation will usually involve an on-call rotation, as well as participation in antepartum clinics.
As you may already know, membership in professional associations is an important part of continuing education in health care professions. You'll want to look into the resources available from the American College of Nurse-Midwives, as well as the California-specific branch. The California Nurse-Midwives Association offers official licensure in the state, as well as job listings and regular events. In addition, California's Board of Registered Nursing provides some helpful information on financial aid to help you pay for your program.
As a growing and vibrant profession in health care, nursing has several specialties that boast impressive growth, high salaries, and job satisfaction. As one of the most popular nursing specialties, nurse midwives are in high demand with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggesting nationwide growth of 31% over the next decade. Further, nurse midwives in California earn one of the highest annual mean wages in the country at $127,940. Only nurse midwives in Iowa earn more, on average.
Beyond the financial considerations of the profession, becoming a nurse midwife is one of the best ways you have to improve the lives of women during birth. Pregnant women have turned to midwives for centuries for help during pregnancy. However, despite the medical advancements seen in health care over the last century, the infant mortality rate in the United States has remained higher than the rates in other industrialized nations. An article published by The Washington Post a few years ago ranked the United States below virtually every wealthy nation in the world at 27th place.
The need for trained nurse-midwives who can help to reduce infant mortality rates in the United States is tremendous, and your high salary will likely be just a small part of the true job satisfaction you feel as a nurse midwife. If you want to have a positive impact on the lives of expectant mothers, begin your journey by contacting these midwife programs in California.