Certified Midwife Path

  1. Greetings,

    I am a non-nurse healthcare provider (PA) and I currently work in gynecology. I considered an accelerated BSN to CNM path prior to choosing PA school, but ultimately wanted the breadth of experience as a PA in primary care before focusing on women's health. I have had a satisfying career as a PA, in both primary care and in gynecology, but I would like to further my training in obstetrics at this point. It seems I have three options toward this end:

    1) complete a PA OB/GYN residency (there are two available, if I am accepted)
    2) complete a CM program (I am close to Jefferson, which is predominantly a distance
    program anyway)
    3) complete an RN/CNM program

    If I choose midwifery education, I would lean toward the CM option, as I have been a practicing healthcare provider for ten years and am unsure whether I need to spend the time and the expense involved in the pursuit of the RN degree.

    My concern, of course, would be the restrictions and limitations of the CM degree. As I have followed the history of the degree, I had hoped it would gain broader recognition and acceptance. Can anyone within the field share their thoughts about the above options?

    Many thanks in advance.
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  2. Visit Gwenivere profile page

    About Gwenivere

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 2
    from DE , US

    5 Comments

  3. by   LibraSunCNM
    I'm a CNM, but I've worked with and precepted a lot of CMs. My experience is that CMs are most widely recognized/employed in NYC, by far, because SUNY Downstate, where the credential was first introduced as an option, is in Brooklyn. That program continues to churn out CM grads at a rate higher and higher every year, and as a result CMs become more and more prevalent in NYC. Other areas like upstate NY or all of NJ, where the credential is also recognized, don't seem to be the same, I feel like they're only scattered here or there. I'm not as familiar with the CM scene in DE, RI, or MO. If you live near Jefferson, you could always ask to speak with the program director to see where their students do clinicals and how high the rate of employment is for them. It does sound like if you could be confident of employment as a CM after graduating, it would be by far the easiest pathway for you, logistically. Good luck!
  4. by   biggolp
    You're at an interesting impasse and I wish you the best of luck in your decision and then in your studies.

    I just wanted to point out that AFAIK a PA (even with an OB/GYN residency), cannot actually catch babies. If that aspect of obstetrics interests you, your best option may be midwifery (in one way or the other.)

    Like LibraSun, I've seen CMs and CNMs working side by side in the same positions (both in and out of the hospital) only in the New York City area.
  5. by   Gwenivere
    Thank you both for your input; it is greatly appreciated.

    Actually, several hospitals do credential PAs to do vaginal deliveries. The specialty organization to which I belong keeps a current list of such institutions. And of course, PAs are often first assists in surgical deliveries.
  6. by   babyNP.
    Quote from Gwenivere
    Thank you both for your input; it is greatly appreciated.

    Actually, several hospitals do credential PAs to do vaginal deliveries. The specialty organization to which I belong keeps a current list of such institutions. And of course, PAs are often first assists in surgical deliveries.
    Interesting. Are most of these places in the northeastern corridor or are there hospitals nationwide in the south, midwest, west coast? Just curious.
  7. by   Jory
    I would apply to the CNM program because the CM designation is only recognized in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine and Missouri. The CNM designation has the exact same scope of practice and is recognized in every state.

    So your biggest restriction is if you move out of those states, you can't work as a nurse-midwife at all.

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