Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery

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About the Nurse Midwife Major

Theologian Albert Schweitzer once said, "The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." This statement forms the core of the career of a nurse midwife.

A nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse who helps to provide primary care to women during their reproductive life. They are compassionate and have a strong desire to help. Some of the care a nurse midwife provides includes gynecological exams, prenatal care, and family planning services. They may also be present during labor and delivery and provide care for newborns.

Nurse midwife programs take place at the graduate level. Before entering a graduate program, students can choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in a related healthcare major, such as nursing. Alternatively, some schools may offer bridge or accelerated programs specifically for nurse midwifery that begin at the associate's or bachelor's degree level. Most nurse midwife programs require applicants to have undergraduate work in statistics, biology, microbiology, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, and algebra.

Nurse midwife majors can anticipate a blend of traditional classroom instruction, simulated events, and hands-on, clinical practice. You can expect to practice in hospitals, birth centers, health clinics, or colleges and universities, or to assist with home births. Your science background will come in handy as you study pharmacology, pathophysiology, neonatology, clinical epidemiology, and a host of other challenging subjects.

Your college may require you to join the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), an organization that provides scholarships, continuing education courses, and other resources for midwife professionals. Once you graduate, you will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). You may also need to pursue licensing in the state you wish to practice.
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