Certified Nurse Midwife: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Working as a certified nurse midwife requires significant formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

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In order to become a certified nurse-midwife, you must be a registered nurse first earning a bachelor's degree in nursing, and then a specialized master's degree. In most states, certification is required.

Essential Information

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) work closely with pregnant women, assisting in births and providing health care to women and infants post-pregnancy. CNMs are specially-trained registered nurses who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in nursing; Master of Science in Nursing
Licensure and Certification Registered nurse licensure is required; most states also require certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 25% for nurse midwives*
Median Salary (2016) $86,846 for certified nurse midwives**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **


According to, the median annual salary earned by CNMs was $86,846 in January 2016. The 430 CNMs included in this survey had salaries ranging from $69,140 to $106,517 per year.

Job Duties

A certified nurse midwife's main duty is to assist women in all stages of pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery. They also work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists in diagnosing and treating women with acute and chronic illnesses.

CNMs counsel and educate patients, conduct examinations and take detailed medical histories. They perform diagnostic tests and procedures, or they might order these tests to be done by technologists. In some states, CNMs can prescribe pharmaceuticals. In addition, CNMs often have administrative duties, such as keeping detailed records of their patients.

CNMs also might work with male patients with reproductive health issues or sexually transmitted diseases.

Education Requirements

CNMs are licensed registered nurses (RNs) with a specialized graduate degree in nurse midwifery. The most common educational path to this career includes obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and completing an accredited MSN program with a concentration in midwifery.

Registered nurses who hold an associate's degree in nursing or a nursing certificate might be able to complete an RN-to-BSN programs that will qualify them to pursue an MSN. These programs typically allow RNs to obtain a BSN within 1-2 years.

Job Requirements

CNMs must have a compassionate nature and enjoy working with women from a variety of backgrounds, from the teenage years through menopause. They must be able to work well within a team and have excellent communication skills, including the ability to listen to patients with empathy and understanding.

Licensure and Certification

In all 50 states and U.S. territories, nurse midwives must be licensed as registered nurses. Additionally, in most states that recognize the role of advanced practice nurses, nurse midwives need national certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Certified nurse-midwives assist women with pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery, performing both clinical and administrative duties. They are registered nurses with specialized Master of Science in Nursing degrees, and they must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills. Certification is required in most states, and job openings for nurse-midwives are expected to grow by 25 % through the 2014-2024 decade.

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