What Does a Certified Nurse Midwife Do?
Having a baby is an exciting time for any new parents, but ensuring the safe delivery of a healthy baby can be a tricky business. Certified nurse midwives are responsible for assisting women who have relatively low risk pregnancies. Patients who do not necessarily need the close supervision of a physician during pregnancy and delivery can instead be cared for by a certified nurse midwife. These nurses provide routine check-ups during the nine childbearing months, making certain that the baby is developing normally and that the mother’s health is optimal. These check-ups prevent pregnancy complications later on. Certified nurse midwives also use their expertise to deliver babies. They provide postpartum care as well, counseling the new mothers on what to expect and how to care for the newborn baby. Some certified nurse midwives may even work alongside obstetricians and gynecologists to give women a wide range of health care services throughout their lives, from puberty to menopause.
How Can I Become a Certified Nurse Midwife?
If you are interested in becoming a certified nurse midwife, you must first earn the credentials to work as a registered nurse. Becoming a registered nurse can be achieved by following one of three educational paths: earning a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. However, most employers will only consider prospective midwives who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This degree can be obtained from an accredited and approved nursing program. Students should take plenty of classes related to pregnancy health and other topics related to caring for mothers and their newborns so that they may gain a firm knowledge of the field. After completing the program, prospective nurses will need to successfully complete the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain licensure to practice. Nurses should expect to work anywhere from two to four years in a field related to midwifery before they will become eligible for certification from organizations like the American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification Council.
What Is the Career and Salary Outlook for a Nurse Midwife?
Nursing is the single most populous occupation in the health care industry with approximately 2.6 million jobs belonging to registered nurses. That number is projected to grow in the upcoming years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pouring even more nursing job opportunities into the market. Undoubtedly, job opportunities for certified nurse midwives will increase as well, especially with the population boom occurring across the nation. In addition, more advanced technology and a better understanding of pregnancy health will allow more women to have healthy pregnancies devoid of complications, which will thereby increase the demand for certified nurse midwives. As if a prospering career field were not enough reason to join the nurse midwife profession, the occupation also boasts generous financial rewards. A typical certified nurse midwife earns an average annual salary of $74,510, according to our analysis of data reported by corporate human resources departments. However, this figure can vary depending on the nurse’s level of education, years of experience, employer, and geographic location.