As a nurse, you have the opportunity to diversify and specialize your skills across many clinical areas. So why choose nurse midwifery? Here are three convincing reasons to consider embarking on that path:
Women’s Health Advocacy
Nurse midwives have become an integral part of the women’s health ecosystem, often replacing obstetricians in their entirety. Midwives understand gynecological conditions and preventive care, as well as general health and wellness concerns.
Nurse midwives are patient-focused professionals with the knowledge to work with women during all phases of their pregnancy – from prenatal care through labor and delivery. Data from the American College of Nurse Midwives shows a steady year-over-year increase in the number of women who choose to have a nurse midwife in the birthing room.
However, today’s nurse midwives do a lot more than deliver babies. This is especially true in the case of the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who has received the education and training to serve as a primary caregiver for women of all ages, from adolescence through menopause.
CNMs are qualified to conduct annual well women exams, provide guidance on birth control and family planning, help usher teenage girls into womanhood, and support pre- and post- menopausal women in managing their changing physical and emotional needs. They’re true advocates for women’s health throughout the full female lifecycle.
Career Growth & Opportunity
Choosing to refocus your career toward midwifery can be a timely decision, as the profession is currently in a growth mode. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for advanced practice nurses, including nurse midwives, is slated to increase at a rate of 31 percent through the year 2024. As of May 2015, the median salary for nurse midwives was $92,510.
Right now, only nine percent of American women choose a midwife-led birth. However, that number is on the increase as the U.S. catches up with Europe and the United Kingdom where the use of nurse midwives is a common practice – even among royalty. (Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, had two midwives in attendance at the birth of her daughter, Princess Charlotte.)
Becoming a certified nurse midwife requires an advanced degree from a university that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
Choosing the right school and program is an important decision. Many nurses opt for an online Master of Science in Nursing due to the convenience, flexibility, and affordability. The most important thing to look for is a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare you to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board, Inc. (AMCB, Inc.).
The future is wide open for CNMs who seek to make a difference for women and their families, particularly as the popularity of midwife-led births increases. Learn more today.
American College of Nurse-Midwives
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Public Radio (NPR)