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What degree do I need to be a midwife?

As more women see the value in hiring a midwife during pregnancy, you might be wondering how to become a medical professional of this type. Not surprisingly, if you are hoping to help women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, you will need a degree. But the exact degree you need will depend on what type of midwife you want to become.

In the United States, most professionals in the midwifery practice are Certified Nurse Midwives, or CNMs. If you want this title, you will have to first get a nursing degree. This means you will need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN. You will then have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Once you have this degree and have passed the test, you will be considered a nurse and can start practicing as one. To become a CNM, you will need to get a graduate degree in an accredited midwife program.

You can also choose to become a CPM, which is a Certified Professional Midwife. This does not require you to get a nursing degree first, because this degree combines some nursing training with midwifery training. It also requires you to get some experience with midwifery, such as by being an apprentice. Just be sure to choose a midwife degree program that is accredited by the North American Registry of Midwives. In addition, know that not all states recognize the CPM credential like they do the CNM title.

Another option is to become a Certified Midwife, or CM. This requires you to first have a bachelor's degree in any subject. You will then need to graduate from a midwifery certification program. When you become a CM you will not be considered a nurse, and only a few states recognize this certification. This means that although you can skip nursing school, you will have fewer job opportunities as a midwife.

No matter which type of midwife degree you choose to get, you will need to pass an exam before officially entering this career field. Then you can begin helping women in need of a midwife before, during, or after their pregnancy.


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