The number of nurses pursuing their graduate degree in Illinois is growing, and the state is working to advance the authority of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) due to the physician shortage. According to the Illinois Board of Nursing, getting a CNM license requires a current Illinois RN license, a graduate degree in nurse midwifery and the national certification.
If you are ready to learn more about your options for becoming a nurse midwife in Illinois, contact the schools listed below to get program details.
Certified nurse midwives usually work with women who have relatively low risk pregnancies, as well as women across the lifespan. They will treat the patient during their prenatal visits through labor and delivery, and they can also provide counseling after pregnancy, as they are trained to care for women from puberty through menopause.
The Certified Nurse Midwife may prescribe and dispense medications with the collaboration of a physician, although the physician does not have to sign the prescription. They have the authority to prescribe controlled substances, which includes schedule II-V. Becoming CNM is a career that offers job security, and it may offer a higher income than that of a staff nurse.
To become a CNM in Illinois, you must attend a Master of Science program as a Nurse Midwife. This type of program typically requires 34 credits with 135 clinical hours over three terms, which can take two years if you attend full-time or four years if you attend part-time.
The admission requirements for nurse midwife programs can include:
- Baccalaureate degree with an upper division major in nursing from an accredited program
- License to practice as a professional nurse
- Applicants with a cumulative GPA less than 3.25 for their bachelor of nursing program must submit their GRE scores by the application deadline
- Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of the first baccalaureate degree
- Introductory courses in Statistics and Research
- Qualified applicants may be required to schedule an interview with faculty
Curriculum for the Master of Science-Nurse Midwife program in Illinois usually begins with five transition courses into advanced practice, which include:
- Health Assessment
- Concepts & Processes for Contemporary Nursing Practice
- Clinical Concepts & Processes for Population-Focused Nursing
- Introduction to Nursing Research & Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
The balance of the midwifery educational program educates nurse clinicians to provide comprehensive health care across a woman’s lifespan. Health promotion is emphasized through your education, advocacy, support and comprehensive healthcare, which includes primary care, reproductive health, pregnancy and women’s health and pregnancy related problems.
There are, fortunately, different online midwife programs available from accredited universities in Illinois as well. Online programs can be very helpful if you are working or have a family, and you can usually arrange for your clinical requirements to be completed locally.
The American Midwifery Certification Board offers a certification exam once you have your graduate degree. This is a nationally recognized certification that is considered the gold standard in midwifery, and it is recognized in all 50 states. The cost is $500 for the exam.
If you need assistance with your tuition expenses, visit the Financial Aid Office and complete a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program based on your income. The federal government often offers low interest loans, as does the Nurse Corps program. In this program you can work for two years in one of their non-profit hospitals and while earning an income, sixty percent of your loans will be paid. Illinois also has an Allied Health Care Professional Scholarship Program, which includes nurse midwives.
Nurse Midwives in Illinois earned a medianincome of $89,700 in 2014 according to O*net Online. The projected job growth for Nurse Midwives is 22 percent above average through 2022.
Nurse Midwives provide care to women throughout their life span. This entails providing physical examinations, prescribing medications, including contraceptive methods, ordering laboratory test as needed, providing gynecological care, providing prenatal care, labor and birth care. In addition, they are health educators and they counsel women of all ages.
There are jobs available in doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, community health centers or other healthcare facilities. If you are considering returning for your graduate degree, becoming a midwife is an exciting career that helps women and strengthens the nursing profession as a whole. Reach out to the Illinois schools that have nurse midwife programs today to get started.