"It helps to know that this path will get me where I want to be, in a competent and focused way."
~an NMI student
You want to become a midwife: but what type of midwife do you want to be?
The word “midwife” derives from Old English mid, meaning “with,” and wif, meaning “woman,” and so translates to “with woman.” Midwives are skilled professionals who provide primary care for mothers/gestational parents and newborns during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum periods. They may also provide gynecological wellness care.
In the United States there are multiple pathways to midwifery training and education. Most pathways lead to midwifery certification and qualify candidates for licensing in their state. Candidates can choose their route of entry into the midwifery profession using nurse-midwifery or direct-entry midwifery educational programs.
Below is more information about the type of program National Midwifery Institute is and is not, as well as the scope of practice of our graduates.
National Midwifery Institute is a direct-entry midwifery program.
National Midwifery Institute is a direct-entry midwifery program, accredited by Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). MEAC is a non-profit accrediting body approved by the US Department of Education as a nationally-recognized accrediting agency for direct-entry midwifery education programs.
A Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM) is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through apprenticeship, self-study, a midwifery school, or a college/university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A direct-entry midwife provides the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women, pregnant people, and newborns through the childbearing cycle (primarily in out-of-hospital settings including homes and free-standing birth centers) and may also provide gynecological wellness care. Most states have specific legal requirements for education and licensing of direct-entry midwives. Registered Midwives (RM) and Licensed Midwives (LM) are examples of direct-entry midwives.
NMI graduates qualify for the NARM Written Examination, which leads to the CPM credential.
A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is therefore qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge of and experience with birth in out-of-hospital settings. Of the more than thirty states that currently regulate midwifery as a profession separate from nursing, all (with the exception of New York) license/certify midwives by requiring either the CPM credential or passing the NARM Written Examination. Graduates of the National Midwifery Institute's Certificate Program qualify to sit for the NARM Written Examination which, when passed, leads to the CPM Credential.
National Midwifery Institute is not a nurse-midwifery program.
A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and has passed a national certification examination to receive the professional designation Certified Nurse-Midwife. CNMs can legally practice in all 50 states. CNMs may qualify for the CPM credential by documenting out-of-hospital experience and passing the NARM Written Examination.
A Certified Midwife (CM) is an individual who has or receives a background in a health-related field other than nursing and graduates from a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Graduates of an ACME accredited midwifery education program take the same national certification examination as CNMs but receive the professional designation Certified Midwife. Currently, three states legally recognize the CM credential: New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
National Midwifery is not accredited by ACME and so is not a program for those wishing to obtain a CNM or CM credential.
NMI Graduate Scope of Practice
As an NMI graduate, you will be prepared for the scope of practice outlined by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Core Competencies, the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) certification guidelines, the California Midwifery licensing requirements (some of the most rigorous in the United States), as well as many other states’ licensing requirements. Graduates of National Midwifery Institute's Certificate Program qualify to sit for the NARM Written Examination which, when passed, leads to the CPM Credential. NMI graduates who receive the CPM credential and/or state license/certification meet the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) International Definition of the Midwife.
"I am loving my training, both academic and hands-on, and am so excited to get to focus more on midwifery."
~ an NMI Student
To learn more, view the NMI Handbook.