I agree with you and believe that everyone who becomes a CNM with some sort of life-experience (which we all have!) brings something valuable to the table.
However, I do have to say that experience as an L&D nurse (or any type of nurse, for that matter) is a lot more than simply going through the motions of assisting with delivery. I worked as an RN in critical care for several years and have now spent 6 months in L&D. I now see that intangible strength that experience can bring--those gut feelings that can't be learned from a textbook or during clinical experiences. Those wise nurses I work with who have done it for years and years give me a ton of insight that I am so grateful to get--insight learned from years on the job and assisting with thousands of births. Insight that I am slowly developing on my own as well.
Although the holistic approach to midwifery is SO IMPORTANT, at that moment when I experience my first shoulder dystocia or other emergency, I'm going to go back into this current experience for strength. And while strip reading isn't so important when you are in a birth-center or assisting with home births (since women aren't continuously monitored), it is super important in a hospital setting. Learning to read strips is, again, an artfrom that takes years to master. The basics can be learned in a few days, but the experienced nurses can look at a strip and tell a whole lot more about the labor than is initially apparent to a new nurse. I have a year-and a-half until I finish my CNM program and I am SO GRATEFUL for this time working on L&D. I'm certainly not saying that it should be a requirement, but it also shouldn't be discounted as a valuable tool.