My wife just passed her boards for CNM. She went through a graduate program (2 years) and got her MSN (1st year) then completed her training to sit for the for CNM boards. Her official program title was MSN, Certified Nurse Midwife Track. The program was very competitive, she worked PRN during her school but at time had to take months off because of clinicals that were out of the area. She had a couple of clinicals were she live with a family member or friends OOT for about 6-8 weeks. She went to a private university in VA, approx cost 40K. She is starting a job around May, and will be working with a state university practice paying approx 55k. From her research starting salaries were starting in the 60K range for ob/gyn practices.
Depending on the state, you have to meet certain regs to be able to practice. In all most all states you have to have a collaborating physician in order to hold a license and practice. Different states have varied definitions of what collaboration is. From what I know the bottom line is you have to have a collaborating physician to refer hi-risk patients to. From our experience over the last 6 months there are opening for CNMs out there but they are looking for experienced people. My wife was lucky to have it work out for a job with an exiting, university affiliated (great malpractice insurance
), and hospital delivery based practice. As for lay-midwives, research your state ... in some states it is illegal to practice as a lay-midwife.
Hope this helps