What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are educated in both midwifery and nursing. They earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery education (ACME), and pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Midwives must be recertified every five years and meet specific continuing education requirements.

Midwifery, as practiced by certified nurse midwives, encompasses a full range of primary health care
services for women, from adolescence through and beyond menopause. These services include:

  • Primary care
  • Gynecologic and family planning
  • Preconception care
  • Care during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum 

Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
They:

  • Conduct physical examinations
  • Prescribe medications
  • Admit, manage and discharge patients
  • Order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests
  • Order the use of medical devices 

Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling.

Certified Nurse Midwives may work closely, or in collaboration, with an Obstetrician & Gynecologist, who provides consultation and/or assistance to patients who develop complications or have complex medical histories or disease(s). Often, women with high risk pregnancies can receive the benefits of midwifery care from a Certified Nurse Midwife in collaboration with a physician.