Becoming a Midwife
There are several paths to becoming a midwife. The path you choose will depend on what type of midwife you want to become.
Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) practice in a variety settings, but usually in birth centers and homes. They are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives and must meet specific educational criteria before taking an exam to gain the CPM credential. Each state has its own regulations of CPMs but many are beginning to require certification for licensure.
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) usually practice within hospital settings after earning a nursing degree.
Traditional Midwives can also be called “lay midwives,” “community midwife,” “Granny midwives,” or “direct-entry midwives.” They practice in out-of-hospital settings like homes. There is no one method of becoming a traditional midwives but most pursue training as an apprentice with a practicing midwife. Most states and insurance companies do not recognize traditional midwives.
The CPM Process
The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) conducts examination and issues certification to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs).
From the NARM website: “The main purpose of a certification program is to establish entry-level knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to practice competently. A Certified Professional Midwife’s (CPM) competency is established through training, education and supervised clinical experience, followed by successful completion of a skills assessment and written exam. The goal is to increase public safety by setting standards for midwives who practice The Midwives Model of Care predominately in out-of-hospital settings.”
MEAC standards incorporate the nationally recognized core competencies and guiding principles set by the Midwives Alliance of North America and the requirements for national certification of the North American Registry of Midwives.
MEAC-Accredited schools prepare students to sit for the NARM examination. Students who graduate from MEAC-accredited schools are eligible for certain benefits from NARM, such as a simplified application process and the option for early certification testing.
Graduates from MEAC-accredited schools have the highest rate of passing the NARM examination of all midwifery students.
Please visit NARM online or contact them by phone or email for more information.
Good luck to you on your journey to midwifery!