University of Wisconsin–Madison

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) provides care to a woman during pregnancy, manages labor, delivers the baby, and cares for the newborn and mother. Currently, approximately five percent of all births in the United States are conducted by a certified nurse-midwife. CNMs generally take patients who, after a pre-screening, are not likely to have complications. An obstetrician is often used as a consultant for emergencies.

Work Activities/Work Locations

A nurse-midwife provides education on nutrition, breast feeding, child care, and other information needed for a healthy mother and child. A CNM supervises the labor, provides pain medication if needed, and performs the delivery. The baby is evaluated for its health and then shortly thereafter released to a pediatrician’s care.

CNMs are generally self-employed, and work in clinics, hospitals, or independent birthing centers. Hours vary since CNMs are always on call for the expectant mothers.

Getting Started

  • High School Courses

    High school students should study health, mathematics, biology, chemistry, social sciences and related courses. Nursing education includes classes in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, psychology and related courses. Health and wellness subjects are emphasized, such as nutrition and basic care as well as gynecological care.

    CNMs are registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree who have completed a certification program which usually involves approximately twelve months of training. A master’s degree program is also available, taking about 16 to 24 months. For those who are not already registered nurses, a 3-year combined RN/master’s degree program is available in some areas where the nursing degree is obtained along with nurse-midwifery certification.

  • Education and Training
  • Professional Organizations

    American College of Nurse-Midwives
    8403 Colesville Rd., Suite 1550
    Silver Spring, MD, 20910
    240/485-1800
    www.midwife.org

    American Nurses Association (ANA)
    8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400
    Silver Spring, MD, 20910
    301/628-5000 or 800/274-4ANA (4262)
    www.ana.org

    American Pregnancy Association
    1425 Greenway Dr., Suite 440
    Irving, TX, 75038
    972/550-0140
    www.americanpregnancy.org

    Association of Midwifery Educators
    24 South High St.
    Bridgton, ME, 04009
    207/615-2566
    www.associationofmidwiferyeducators.org/

    Citizens for Midwifery
    P.O.Box 82227
    Athens, GA, 30608-2227
    888/236-4880
    cfmidwifery.org/

    Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
    850 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
    Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
    360/466-2080
    meacschools.org

    Midwives Alliance of North America
    611 Pennsylvania Ave. SE #1700
    Washington, DC, 20003
    844/626-2674
    mana.org/

    National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
    PO Box 340
    Keene, NH, 03431
    603/358-3322
    nacpm.org/

    National College of Midwifery
    1041 Reed St., Suite C
    Taos, NM, 87571
    575/758-8914
    www.midwiferycollege.org/

    North American Registry of Midwives
    5257 Rosestone Dr.
    Lilburn, GA, 30047
    770/381-9051 or 888/842-4784
    narm.org

    Wisconsin Guild of Midwives
    www.wisconsinguildofmidwives.org/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2012 (Wisconsin): 100
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 44,200
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 50,300
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 14%
Expected Annual Openings: 1,490
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $96,761

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.