I think if you plan on staying within the U.S. CNM is the most PRACTICAL route. However, it's worth it to note than in many other countries, DEM is the norm, not the outlier. In Australia, for instance, where midwives attend the vast majority of births, getting your bachelor's degree in midwifery as opposed to nursing is considered the best route to take because you spend more years learning the trade. You can also obtain a midwifery certificate after one year of post-BSN study, but getting the bachelor's in midwifery is preferred. In New Zealand, midwives must obtain midwifery degrees. In Britain, only nurses who specialized in adult health care can take a post-bachelor's course to become a midwife. Any other nurse specialization is required to take the whole three-year midwifery degree. in Canada, there are a bunch of four-year midwifery bachelor's programs. It seems like just like the metric system and the side of the road we drive on, America is determined to be contrary to the rest of the world
However, with the exception of Canada (where salaries are about as high as the U.S.), midwife salaries are on par with other nurses with bachelor's degrees.