District of Columbia Master of Science in Midwifery Degrees
A Master of Science in Midwifery program positions participants to greatly improve the quality and breadth of maternity care offered to women and their families. Explore Masters in Midwifery on GradSchools.com the leading Graduate Programs website for Masters Degrees in Nursing.
One of the many specialized fields of nursing, nurse midwifery focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, obstetrics and women’s health. They provide critical medical care to women throughout their lifespan and often specialize in providing vital care during pregnancy and childbirth. Nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses who typically undergo advanced education and training before becoming fully licensed in the field. Nurse midwives might pursue career opportunities in a wide variety of places of employment, general and surgical hospitals and the offices of other physicians. Some nurse midwives might also find potential employment opportunities in the military and other public institutions as well. Although advanced training and years of specialized education are required for nurse midwives, the field can be very rewarding for those interested in obstetrics, childbirth and women’s health. Before enrolling in a nurse midwife program, it’s critical to know the education, training, work environment and employment opportunities that could be expected of the field.
What is a Nurse Midwife?
A nurse midwife is a specialized nurse whose field centers on obstetrics from preconception to childbirth to postpartum. Nurse midwives are highly trained and specialized to handle all of the crucial aspects of obstetrics and to guide women through their pregnancy successfully. The profession involves intensive work in hospitals, medical clinics and other birthing centers and also stresses a hands-on, proactive approach to obstetrics and women’s healthcare.
How to Become a Nurse Midwife
The pathway to becoming a nurse midwife is similar to a career path in general nursing but requires additional training and education to help develop skills that qualify professionals to deliver the specialized care and services provided by nurse midwives. The typical education path to becoming a nurse midwife first involves earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, although some programs may accept registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree in some situations. Likewise, other programs may accept those with a bachelor’s degree but not yet a registered nurse in some circumstances. In general, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and the successful completion of an RN exam are required to enter a nurse midwifery program. A nurse midwifery program falls under the scope of an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) program in the educational world and often requires a period of clinical care experience prior to enrollment.1
Students in an APRN course for nurse midwifery focus their studies intensely on areas like pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Special attention is given to the needs of women during this period and advanced research and extensive study is often required for most classes. Most nurse midwife programs also include practicum requirements which give students the opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to work as a nurse midwife in a birthing center.1
Nurse Midwife Licensure and Certification
Upon graduation from a nurse midwife program, candidates are usually required to become fully certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Recertification is typically required every five years. Certification and Licensure requirements vary by state1.
Nurse Midwife Salary Potential and Job Outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for nurse midwives was $89,600 in 20122. Strong job growth for nurse midwives is also anticipated in the near future as well. Jobs for nurse midwives are expected to grow by 31% between 2012 and 20223.