The American College of Nurse Midwives recognizes two types of midwife practice:
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) – registered nurse who has graduated from an accredited nurse-midwifery program and has received national certification as a nurse-midwife Certified Midwife (CM) – is a graduate from an accredited midwifery program and has passed the Midwifery Certification Exam.
In 2005, about 8 percent of all births in the US are attended by CNMs.
Aside from delivery and neeborn care, a CNM can also perform physicals, prescribe medications (including contraceptive services), order laboratory tests and perform routine gynecologic care which can cater to teenagers and even menopause women. They are the primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. While most CNMs and CMs provide care for women who give birth in hospitals, many also attend births in birth centers and at home. The word “midwife” means “with woman.”
CNMs are licensed to practice and write prescriptions in all 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Under federal law and in many states, they are recognized as advanced practice nurses (APNs) which also includes nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. ACNM is one of the oldest women’s health care organizations in the United States. It provides research administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes clinical practice standards, and liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress. For more detailed information about the Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), visit www.midwife.org.