Online Direct-Entry Midwifery Programs
How do I become a midwife without being a nurse?
The only legal and licensed way to become a midwife without being a registered nurse is to become a direct-entry midwife. Direct-entry midwives typically specialize in home births, although some work in birth centers. They can learn their midwife skills through self-study, apprenticeship or at an independent midwifery school.
All direct entry midwives must attain CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).
A CPM is nationally certified, but NOT nationally licensed to work in any state they choose like a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). A CPM midwife must be licensed by each individual state practiced within and not all 50 states offer licensing. Visit the Midwife Alliance of North America (MANA) State Law page for more information.
Another alternate method to becoming a direct-entry midwife is to earn CM (Certified Midwife) certification from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). This process does not require you to become a registered nurse, but still requires a graduate degree. This is a relatively new certification and is not allowed in the vast majority of states. Visit the AMCB Certification Comparison page for more information on midwife certification.
Most direct-entry midwives are self-employed, providing care in private offices or at a patient’s home. Income for direct-entry midwives will vary depending on number of attended births, location and business expenses. The salaries of direct entry midwives (CPMs) are often lower than those of certified nurse midwives (CNMs) typically hired by private physicians or hospitals. As a broad estimate, a full-time direct-entry midwife attending 3-5 births per month can generally expect to support a family comfortably, but not extravagantly.
Where can I find information about online direct-entry midwifery programs?
Several Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)-accredited midwifery schools offer online or low residency programs. These online direct-entry midwifery programs allow midwife students to complete much of their education online and through local apprenticeships. The on-site time commitments for each of the online direct-entry midwifery programs listed below will vary.