Here is an excellent website that I've been doing my own research from. It's www.midwife.org.
They have a section on education for becoming a midwife. It's address directly is www.midwife.org/edu/students.cfm.
It even has a list of schools and what you need to get into the program they offer.
Here are other sites that I have saved as my favorites on midwifery:
I do see that the midwifery profession is going thru some identity crisis within the medical field. Some see it as a problem and some do not. As far as not becoming an RN and going straight into midwifery, the only thing I see is that you will not be able to manage deliveries in a hospital setting. As you probably already know, obstetrics has the highest malpractice insurance
premiums b/c it has the highest rate of lawsuits. I've known of some doctors who quit delivering babies due to the insurance cost. I do know it's outrageous. Sorry I don't have any exact figures. Also midwives are going thru hoops to get any payment for services. They are striving to become recognized as an advanced practitioner. If you don't get your RN, you will find that the MDs will just shake their heads when you ask for their help. They don't want to place themselves into a malpractice situation. And people are funny. They really rely on you to deliver a perfectly healthy, smart, undamaged baby to them. If anything's wrong they don't blame themselves, they look outward to whoever was there to care for them during the labour and delivery part. Sorry, I'm going off subject.
I understand that you don't want to study more than you need to but I've seen obstetrical pts. get really sick and knowing about all the other health problems that the human can have, it has helped me care for my pts better. I've seen midwives that totally focus on the pregnancy and send a pt home only to readmit that pt into ICU for an illness unrelated to pregnancy. (one pt. had to labour and deliver while in a coma. We didn't think that she'd live during or after)
As far as what the differences are in training, I defer you to the website above on www.midwifery.org.
I think that it's the best site for explaining things. I can see that if the CNMs become more useful and accepted into the medical society, that the CMs and others will eventually become obsolete or underground. Personally, I would want to have a MD backup if I have a need. Working in L&D at all but one high level of care units (meaning that we took care of high risk pts.), I have seen all that can go wrong with the mother or baby. Even at the one low risk facility, I had babies and mothers in distress and no back up in house. These pts. were eventually shipped out to other hospitals but only after delivery. Once had to wait 40 minutes for anesthesia to arrive from home. I was so worried about the baby. Kept having severe decels.
Again, I am beating down the wrong path. Sorry. I hope that this helps. I understand that you don't have the time. All I can say is focus on today for tomorrow may not come. Keep God in your plans. If it's meant to be then He will help you. I started making my dreams come true almost 11 years ago and 3 kids later. Now that my last one is here and almost 3 yo, I'm ready to take the next step. Getting my ADN was a piece of cake b/c my heart was in it. I heard that getting my BSN will only be 18 months and if I do the RN-MSN track I can do it in 2 years. Take your dreams one step at a time. Remember how a baby learns how to walk. I'm sure they dream of running around but they have to learn to stand first ,etc.etc.
It sounds like you have a gut feeling about where you are at now. Go with it. Before you invest more money and time. This field is so unsure. One thing about these schools especially these small ones. They only want your money and make sure they are accredited. If you graduate from an unaccreditted school or program then you may not be recognized by some institutions or empoyers or even from state to state. Look up accreditation on the web. There are some schools that are accredited but not with the "right" one. That's how the schools get you to sign up. I unfortunately had a bad run in with 2 schools this past winter. And I have a coworker that went to an unaccredited school and lost a lot of money and if she wants to continue on with another school, she has to start over. All the credits she took won't transfer.
Boy, I don't even know if I covered what you asked. Let me know.