Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs) are highly trained health care professionals who provide care for women not only during pregnancy and birth but also from adolescence through the end of life. Nurse-midwives have been practicing in the U.S. since the 1920s.
CNMs are nurses who have completed a graduate-level nurse-midwife program and passed a certification exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board, while CMs are non-nurses who have complete a graduate-level midwifery degree program and passed a certification exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board.
CNMs and CMs are qualified to provide the same level of care. All states license CNMs for independent practice but not all states license CMs. The American College of Nurse Midwives reports that CNMs and CMs attended 312,129 births in the U.S. in 2010, representing 11.6% of all vaginal births and 7.8% of total births.
The Certified Professional Midwife, or CPM, receives her training in one of several midwifery schools accredited by Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), as well as by working as an apprentice under a certified midwife. The CPM receives training through established schools of midwifery, plus additional hands on experience through apprenticeship by recognized midwife preceptors. The CPM is the only license which requires out-of-hospital experience. Once the training has reached specific levels of achievement demonstrated through written and hands-on testing, the CPM is certified through the organizations Midwife Alliance of North America (MANA) and the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).