Midwifery is an ancient career path and calling that has lasted for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The field of nurse midwifery combines the best of medical advances and the wisdom of midwives. In Iowa, where rural communities may have limited access to OB/GYNs and other medical specialists, nurse midwives can be crucial in keeping birthing women safe.
Nurse midwives are becoming a more important part of well woman care across the country, with a growing number of hospitals offering nurse midwifery services.
If you’re considering a career as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), you should be ready to work irregular hours, serve women of all ages and medical needs, and collaborate extensively with OB/GYNs and other medical professionals. If this is the right career path for you, learn more about certified nurse midwife programs in Iowa by contacting the schools you see on this page.
Getting established in the field of nurse midwifery requires an extensive amount of education. You should have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, as there are few options for those who have an unrelated Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s nursing degree. With your BSN, you should have at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Labor & delivery experience may be particularly helpful.
CNM programs are graduate degree programs that typically last two to four full years. This amounts to 30 to 45 credits of advanced nursing courses. To become fully educated in various aspects of being a midwife, you may have to wake a wide variety of courses. In your curriculum, you may find courses like Human Anatomy & Physiology of Childbearing Women, Nursing Pharmacology for CNMs, Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Scholarship and Research, Antepartum Complications, and Disparities in Women’s Health.
Clinical work should be a very large part of your education. In your clinical work, you may work with teenage girls who are navigating puberty, provide pelvic exams to women of various ages, and help patients navigate pregnancy and childbirth. You may even be an active participant in many births. This helps you figure out when birth is following a normal physiological pattern and when it must be referred to an OB/GYN.
Many organizations and associations offer scholarships to advanced nursing students. The Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems funds several high-value scholarships for graduate nursing students. Through the Iowa Nurses Association, you can look into grants that are available each year. You may also wish to join the Iowa Health Care Association and look into the financial aid opportunities they have.
Since you have already worked as a registered nurse, you know how important licensure is in the field of nursing. It’s important to maintain your RN license throughout your education. Once you complete your graduate-level education, you can apply for national certification via the American Midwifery Certification Board. You may get your license after passing a comprehensive exam. You can then get your advanced practice state license from the Iowa Board of Nursing.
The job market is fairly strong for certified nurse midwives in Iowa. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects a 26% increase in CNM jobs. The average salary for an Iowa CNM is $102,500 per year (O*Net, 2014). This is slightly higher than the national average (O*Net, 2014).
Are you ready to take your nursing career to the next level? Get started today by contacting certified nurse midwife programs in Iowa from those listed below.