California Campus Nurse Midwife Programs

Nurse Midwifery Schools teach advanced practice nursing and provide specific midwifery instruction. Accredited on-campus nurse midwife programs include didactic coursework and clinical experiences to prepare graduates to pursue licensure as certified nurse midwives (CNMs).

Nurse Midwifery Schools & Midwife Degree Programs

Nurse Midwifery Schools may offer Midwife degree programs at the Masters, Doctorate and post-graduate certificate levels. Some universities may also offer a dual program such as nurse-midwife / women’s health nurse practitioner (NM/WHNP).

Midwifery practice is typically based on the core competencies set forth by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). These essentially cover basic and key knowledge, skills and behaviors. By contrast, a program such as a NM/WHNP could provide a broader scope of knowledge in women’s health.

What Degree Do I Need As a Midwife?

To be eligible to pursue a career as a CNM, registered nurses must graduate from a masters degree midwifery or higher-level nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).

What Is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Today’s certified nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has passed a mandatory national Certified Nurse-Midwife Examination through the American Midwifery Certification Board.i

All CNMs must hold state licensure, usually issued through their state board of nursing. They must also meet specific continuing education requirements to maintain state licensure and the CNM designation.

While nurse midwives are schooled in both nursing and midwifery, direct-entry midwives are instructed in midwifery without first being nurses. Interested students might therefore look for a midwifery school that offers a degree plan that is in line with their current level of education and experience.

Masters Degree in Midwifery

Midwifery Schools award either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on Nurse-Midwifery or a Master of Science (MS) in Nurse Midwifery. Both degrees are made for current RNs who hold an unencumbered license who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Letters of recommendation, GRE scores and minimum undergraduate GPA are often required as part of an application to a nurse midwifery school.

Generally, Masters Degree in Midwifery programs require two to three years of study, depending on whether one studies on a full or part-time basis. A MSN in Nurse Midwife program could prepare students for entry-level nurse-midwifery practice through a core curriculum. Curriculums typically stack clinical rotations on top of academic nursing science and midwifery courses.

Core MSN courses are typically designed to help students master general, reproductive, pregnancy, fetal, and neonatal physiology and pathophysiology. Students might also study primary care, women’s health, and perinatal pharmacology. Additional topics might delve into leadership, cultural literacy, and research methods to apply evidence into practice.

Core Nurse Midwife courses address the clinical management of women’s primary care, reproductive care, prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care. Care of the newborn and issues of labor and birth are often covered in these classes.

The clinical experiences within an MS degree in nurse-midwifery program often include more than 1,000 hours of practice, covering both inpatient and outpatient settings. Many programs in nurse-midwifery also culminate in a comprehensive scholarly paper or capstone experience.

Nurse Midwifery DNP Programs

Some midwifery schools may offer a nurse-midwifery/DNP program in which students earn their terminal degree in nursing practice with a major in midwifery. Students might enter a Doctor of Nursing Practice program through a BSN to DNP pathway.

A BSN to DNP Nurse Midwifery program could require applicants to have an unencumbered license to practice as an RN and a Bachelors degree in nursing. Other application requirements include graduate level statistics, letters, writing sample, minimum GPA and experience (e.g. in labor and delivery). Applicants may need to complete a face-to-face or telephone interview as well.

A nurse-midwifery/DNP program could consist of about 75 credit hours of study from the bachelor to the DNP degree. Although a variable, some students may need the equivalent of about 9 semesters of full-time study to complete their degree. Part-time programs may be an option, too.

Upon successful completion of the course of study, graduates could be eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

Curriculums usually explore advanced practice nursing theory and skills as per the DNP Essentials laid out by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.ii Therefore students could take courses in translational science, health care policy, population health and organizational leadership. Advanced coursework in human pathophysiology, health assessment and pharmacology are also typically part of a DNP core.

Midwifery courses could tackle women’s heath, primary care and a history course on nurse midwives along with necessary clinical practicums. DNP students are typically required to complete a final capstone project.

Graduate Certificate in Nurse Midwifery

Post-graduate nurse midwifery certificates are aimed at graduate-prepared APRNs who want to add midwifery to their scope of advanced practice nursing. In some midwifery schools, students with a MS in a health-related field, or those who have earned a MSN in another area of nursing may be able to enroll in a certificate program.

A graduate certificate in nurse midwifery typically requires fewer credits than the MSN, as students may be able to get credit for past coursework and work experience.

Why Choose a Campus Nurse Midwife Program?

While many midwifery schools offer online formats, campus nurse midwife programs could provide small class sizes and clinical practicums tailored to individual student needs. Plus, students could have onsite resources such as learning resource centers, computer labs and clinical equipment for check out. Study with others, and learn in-person with faculty!

Accreditation for Nurse Midwifery Schools

Midwifery Schools may have individual programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Pick Your Nurse Midwifery Degree Now

Easily compare nurse midwifery schools here. Filter by location and degree level to yield a list of sponsored schools. Then, use the on-page form to contact the schools with the nurse midwife programs you like and you'll soon be talking to school reps who are interested in you.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-4 | [ii] http://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/Publications/DNPEssentials.pdf

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