As a midwife, Helen's typical day is spent taking care of pregnant women, both physically and spiritually, and supporting them through labor. She came from a completely different background, but ended up in midwifery when she decided that she needed a sustainable career that she was passionate about.
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are nurses with hospital-based midwifery training. Most CNMs practice in clinics and hospitals and are also primary health care providers to women. They perform physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory tests as needed, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages.
Direct-Entry Midwives are specialists in birth outside the hospital, at home and in free-standing birth centers.
Apprenticeship for Direct-Entry Midwives.
In order to become a certified nurse midwife, you must have either a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Once those requirements are fulfilled, you’ll need to pursue your master’s degree, as well as have one to two years of nursing experience and a license to practice as a registered nurse (RN).
Through this graduate-level education, students specializing in midwifery load up on courses like anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, research, family planning and primary care of women. These programs generally take 24 to 36 months to complete, depending on the individuals’ course loads and the particular program curriculum.
Once a master’s degree is completed, all certified nurse midwives must take and pass the national board exams, which are given four times a year throughout the country.
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