What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?


Certified Nurse Midwives are Registered Nurses with a master’s degree, and have education in two disciplines: Nursing and Midwifery.  CNMs are board certified, independently licensed, and have prescriptive authority in all 50 states.  They primarily work in clinics, birth centers, hospitals, provide pregnancy and gynecological care from puberty to menopause.  They are able to collect for insurance reimbursement with private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.

Certified Nurse Midwives are experts in understanding the normalcy of birth and recognizing potential complications early.  They collaborate with physicians if complications arise.  They care for women who desire either a natural labor or a medicated labor (including epidurals), and can first assist during a cesarean section.  CNMs provide support during labor, and are open and respectful of birth preferences.  They have similar safety outcomes as obstetricians for mothers and babies, while having low rates of induction, cesarean section, and episiotomies.

What Does A Certified Nurse Midwife Believe?
A Certified Nurse Midwife affirms the power and strength of women and the importance of their health in the well-being of families, communities and nations.  We believe in the basic human rights of all persons, recognizing that women often incur an undue burden of risk when these rights are violated.

Our Midwives believe every person has a right to:

  • Equitable, ethical, accessible quality health care that promotes healing and health
  • Health care that respects human dignity, individuality and diversity among groups
  • Complete and accurate information to make informed health care decisions
  • Self-determination and active participation in health care decisions
  • Involvement of a woman’s designated family members, to the extent desired, in all health care experiences

A Midwife believes in the best model of health care for a woman and her family:

  • Promotes a continuous and compassionate partnership
  • Acknowledges a person’s life experiences and knowledge
  • Includes individualized methods of care and healing guided by the best evidence available
  • Involves therapeutic use of human presence and skillful communication

Our Midwives honor the normalcy of women’s lifecycle events.  We believe in:

  • Watchful waiting and non-intervention in normal processes
  • Appropriate use of interventions and technology for current or potential health problems
  • Consultation, collaboration and referral with other members of the health care team as needed to provide optimal health care

We affirm that midwifery care incorporates these qualities and that women’s health care needs are well-served through midwifery care.

Finally, we value formal education, lifelong individual learning, and the development and application of research to guide ethical and competent midwifery practice. These beliefs and values provide the foundation for commitment to individual and collective leadership at the community, state, national and international level to improve the health of women and their families worldwide.

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