Also called certified nurse-midwives (CNM), midwives provide women with both prenatal and family planning services, assist with labor and delivery, and perform gynecological exams. Midwives are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and may also provide primary care for women and infants. Like other nursing careers that have clinical education requirements, becoming a midwife can be achieved through a multi-step combination of both in-person and distance learning. To enter this field, you must be a licensed registered nurse within your state of residence, have a master's degree, and pass a certification exam, such as the one issued by the American Midwifery Certification Board (ACMB). The following table provides information for midwife careers.
|Required Skills||Communication, compassion, critical-thinking, leadership|
|Job Growth*||16% for 2018-2018|
|Median Salary*||$103,770 as of 2018|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Becoming a Midwife Online
In order to become a midwife via online resources, you will need to pursue an undergraduate degree, pass exams to acquire RN state licensure, and complete a master's degree program. Aside from clinical and exam requirements, this process can be completed online. Once you have followed those steps, you can qualify for a certification exam and be able to practice within your state after passing.
Step 1. Earn an Undergraduate Nursing Degree
Your first step will be to acquire an undergraduate nursing degree, whether through an online associate or bachelor's degree program. Online Associate of Science in Nursing programs are more common and require a combination of online coursework and on-site clinical experiences.
To pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you may need to have already successfully earned an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, though there are BSN programs that admit students who have completed some undergraduate, non-nursing coursework and can pass the ATI TEAS exam with a minimum score of 60%. Online nursing bachelor's degree programs can take 1.5 to 2.5 years to complete, depending on if it is an accelerated program, and may also require on-site attendance for clinical rotations and labs. Core topics may include psychiatry and mental health, population health, and nursing theory.
Step 2. Pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and Earn a Registered Nursing (RN) License
Once you've earned an undergraduate degree in nursing, your next step will be to obtain an RN license prior to receiving advanced education. You can receive an RN license upon completion of the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). You will need to submit an application for RN licensure to your state and schedule a testing appointment at one of the official testing centers. After you have received your RN license, it is advised that you gain experience working in a clinical practice prior to graduate education.
Step 3. Earn a Master's degree
To pursue a midwife career, you must also receive a master's degree - usually a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - from an ACME-accredited program that combines both coursework and clinical applications. Several online programs (45-57 credit hours) are available that can take 2-3 years to complete, depending on whether you have a nursing associate or bachelor's degree. These programs may include core topics in nursing leadership, nurse-midwifery, and primary care of women.
Step 4. Pass the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) Exam
Nurse midwife certification is required in most states to be a midwife. The certification process often involves taking an exam that assesses your knowledge of such topics as physical examinations, pharmacology, physiology, and clinical assessments. The American Midwifery Certification Board offers such a certification exam for a fee of $500. To take it, you will need to schedule an appointment at a testing center that is convenient for you, which you can do online after completing the application process. This certification must be renewed every 5 years.