Just what do those acronyms stand for? Here's our glossary of terms.

Glossary of Terms

ACME - Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education - A programmatic accrediting agency for nurse-midwifery education programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accredits programs that prepare candidates to seek the CNM or CM credential. MEAC is the equivalent organization for direct-entry midwives. 

ACNM - American College of Nurse-Midwives - The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States.

ACOG - American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - A nonprofit professional association of physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology in the United States. 

AMCB - American Midwifery Certification Board - The national certifying body for candidates in nurse-midwifery who have received their graduate level education in programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) is the equivalent organization for direct-entry midwives. 

CAM - California Association of Midwives - A professional organization made up of and representing California midwives.

CM - Certified Midwife - 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 of Certified Midwife. Currently, three states legally recognize the CM credential: New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. National Midwifery Institute is not accredited by ACME and is not a nurse-midwifery program

CNM - Certified Nurse Midwife - 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 of nurse-midwife. All 50 states provide CNM licensure. National Midwifery Institute is not accredited by ACME and is not a nurse-midwifery program

CPMCertified Professional Midwife - 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 qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings. Of the more than twenty-eight states that currently regulate midwifery as a profession separate from nursing, all (with the exception of New York) license or certify midwives by using either the NARM CPM credential or the NARM CPM Written Examination. CPMs are not nurse-midwives. Note: This credential may or may not allow you to practice legally in your state. Graduates of the National Midwifery Institute's Certificate Program qualify to sit for the NARM CPM Written Examination which, when passed, leads to the CPM Credential. 

DEM - Direct-Entry Midwife - An independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through apprenticeship, self-study, a midwifery school, a college, or 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. Many states have their own legal requirements for education and licensing of direct-entry midwives. Registered Midwives (RM) and Licensed Midwives (LM) are examples of direct-entry midwives. DEMs are not nurse-midwives. 

ICM - International Confederation of Midwives - An accredited non-governmental organization representing midwives and midwifery to organizations worldwide, to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and newborns. 

ICTC - International Center for Traditional Childbearing - The International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Inc. (ICTC) is a non-profit infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding support, and midwife training organization, comprised of women and men who want to improve birth outcomes and provide training opportunities in their communities.

LM - Licensed Midwife - Many states regulate the midwifery profession by requiring midwives to have licenses. Each state regulates midwifery differently. In those states which license midwives, practicing midwifery without a license is illegal.

MANA - Midwives Alliance of North America - An advocacy group made up of and representing midwives dedicated to ensuring the availability of midwifery care.

MEAC - Midwifery Education Accreditation Council - A federally recognized accrediting agency "providing guidance, evaluation and accreditation of midwifery schools so that midwifery students receive high quality education."

NACPM - National Association of Certified Professional Midwives - The membership organization specifically representing Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in the United States. 

NARM - North American Registry of Midwives - An international agency that administers certification for the credential Certified Professional Midwife.

US MERA - United States Midwifery Education, Regulation and Association coalition - A coalition which formed was formed in direct response to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Global Standards for Education, Regulation and Association issued in 2011. According to US MERA: "Our organizations’ understanding and endorsement of the ICM standards and the global vision for midwifery inspired us to come together to ensure the alignment of U.S. midwifery with these standards to strengthen midwifery in our country. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a highly qualified midwifery workforce that will increase access to midwifery care and improve the health of women, infants and families in our country." The US MERA coalition includes representatives from MANA, NACPM, NARM, MEAC, ACNM, ACME, AMCB and ICTC.  


To learn more, view the NMI Handbook.