The job of a Nurse Midwife is to ensure the proper care and treatment of infants and their mothers before, during and after childbirth. They are responsible for the physical as well as emotional well-being of their patients during the often stressful childbirth process. They are Registered Nurses that have completed specialized training in delivering and caring for women and their newborn children.
Training prepares nurses for the important tasks associated with delivering newborns and caring for both them and their mothers. The demand for midwives is growing as more women opt for natural childbirth with their first or subsequent child. Even though their popularity is just beginning to grow, the profession of midwifery is thousands of years old.
Midwives used to aid in childbirth at a woman’s home, and they still do upon request of their patients, but now they are commonly found in hospital settings, birthing centers and may even have their own private practices.
Training requirements also prepare Nurse Midwives for consulting patients about family planning, birth control methods and use, as well as common gynecological procedures such as pap smears and breast exams. In many states, they can also prescribe medications to their patients in regards to their reproductive health.
Their training prepares them for talking to patients about their various birth options before delivery. It also prepares them for staying with the mother-to-be as she goes through labor and delivery. During labor and delivery, the midwife watches for complications or anything else that may need to be brought to the physician’s attention. When a midwife is involved in birthing, she is usually the one who actually delivers the baby.
During such an important event, with high stress levels and emotions, it’s important that they be prepared for anything, which is why they must meet the requirements before thy can begin practicing.
Generally, in order to become a Certified Nurse Midwife, individuals need a Master of Science in Nursing. Many schools will allow graduate students from a myriad of backgrounds, not just nursing. Individuals can easily begin taking classes with one of the following: an associate’s degree in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), or a bachelor’s degree in any other non-nursing field. There are however, other entrance requirements.
For those who have a BSN from an accredited school, becoming a Nurse Midwife is attainable if they are also an actively registered RN, have about a year of experience with labor and delivery, have completed the GRE, have completed a statistics course, have letters of recommendation, as well as a statement from the nurse about why they would like to be a midwife.
The requirements aren’t the same for every school, but they are common items to expect on the list. If you have a passion for bringing life into the world, this career choice may be the next logical.