Online midwifery programs offer attractive opportunities for growth for registered nurses with a passion for women’s health. As a certified midwife, you can manage a private practice or work in an OB/GYN office or hospital, addressing various women’s health issues. Here is everything you need to know about the midwifery profession:

What Does a Midwife Do?

A midwife is a medical practitioner with specific training in managing reproductive health issues in women. Women go to midwives for assistance during prenatal care, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. A midwife can address other health issues, including gynecological care and family planning. Here are the duties of someone with an online midwifery degree:

  • Verifying and dating a pregnancy
  • Providing antenatal and perinatal care
  • Tracking the fetus and mother during labor and handling any complications
  • Carrying out episiotomies when necessary 
  • Delivering the baby and placenta
  • Educating new parents on infant care
  • Training and educating nursing mothers
  • Preparing expectant mothers for childbirth
  • Conducting screenings and examinations for preventive health
  • Identifying and managing gynecological conditions, including infertility and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Nurse-midwives provide women with a comprehensive approach to childbirth. They use minimal to no technology in the birthing process, enhancing birth quality and lowering associated costs. A nurse-midwife is trained to recognize cases where an obstetrician’s assistance may be necessary. 

Nurse-midwives are also great patient advocates, given the growing desire among women to participate in healthcare and childbirth decisions. They support women in choosing birthing locations and processes for the best experience. They also form close, enduring bonds with the families and women they care for.

Where Do Midwives Work?

Nurse midwives offer women’s reproductive health and childbirth care in the following places:

  • Private homes
  • Hospitals
  • Birthing centers
  • Clinics
  • Health departments

A nurse midwife’s working hours may range from eight to twelve hours per day, depending on where you work. Your facility may also expect you to work on-call, weekend, evening, and holiday hours. Being a nurse midwife can be taxing, but helping expectant parents throughout pregnancy to meet their newborn can be fulfilling. Healthcare organizations nationwide are adopting collaborative models of care and including nurse-midwives in their teams, helping to increase the demand for nurse-midwives. 

What Are the Categories of Professional Midwives?

There are three classes of professional midwives. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are the only ones with a nationwide practicing certification. Prerequisites for becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) include:

  • Holding a valid Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Having completed the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) certification examination
  • Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Certified midwives (CMs) must possess almost all the same qualifications as CNMs, though they are exempt from holding RN licenses. Currently, CMs are only permitted to practice in a limited number of states. A post-secondary degree is not necessary for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). 

CPMs receive certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). NARM’s evaluation is driven by apprenticeship experience, fulfillment of the state’s unique licensing criteria, and the midwifery program.

What Do Online Midwifery Programs Entail?

Online midwifery programs include coursework and clinical hours. Different clinical practice credits and hours will be awarded based on your prior experience, educational background, and desired results. Online distance learning allows healthcare professionals to fulfill their midwifery education requirements without quitting their current jobs.

Comprehensive midwifery programs concentrate on CNM training and certification. Some institutions include midwifery-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Most online DNP programs are designed for registered nurses (RNs) with MSNs who wish to obtain a doctorate without enrolling in a school that offers doctoral degrees.

A DNP may be worthwhile for licensed nurse midwives who want to go beyond attending deliveries and offering women’s primary care. Obtaining a doctorate could provide access to more advanced positions. You may work in public policy, research, government service, international healthcare, and academia.

Find the Best Online Midwifery Program 

If being a midwife is your goal, you can start down your career path by enrolling in a nationally recognized online course. When looking for the best online midwifery programs, consider the school’s clinical hours, degree type, credit, and GRE requirements. Evaluate several online midwifery programs to select a degree program that best suits your needs. Get started obtaining an online midwifery degree today.

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