Nurse Midwife Job Profile

If you are a registered nurse who is interested in specializing in the field of childbirth, you might be interested in the job profile for a becoming a midwife.

Job Description

As a certified nurse midwife (CNM), your primary focus will be caring for pregnant women and newborn babies. Some of the services you will provide include gynecological exams, prenatal care, family planning assistance, help with labor and deliver as well as with neonatal care in the first four weeks, including breastfeeding. You will have to decide whether to work out of a clinic, hospital, or your own office. In general, you will be responsible for the health of both the mother and the baby, only referring to an obstetrician if there is some sort of medical complication. To ensure your safe practice, you will be obligated by law to have a supervisor of midwives who oversees your practice.

Typical Activities

Some of the most common activities for you as a midwife will be examining pregnant women, monitoring their progress, and diagnosing any potential health risks. Based on these exams, you will need to develop a program of care, periodically assessing and evaluating the progress of your patients. You will have to identify high risk pregnancies and make appropriate referrals to doctors and other medical specialists. You will also need to give counseling and support to women who experience things like miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects. You can recommend childbirth classes and encourage your patients to come up with a birthing plan. You will be present for the mother during labor and delivery and recommend appropriate pain management treatments. You then will give advice about caring for the newborn and answer any questions or concerns the new mother may have, including how to obtain birth certificates, when the baby needs its first checkup, etc.


Before you can enter one of the educational programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, you must first be a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. After you have successfully completed your studies in various aspects of nurse midwifery, you are qualified to take the certification exam, and if you pass, you should be able to transfer this certification from one state to another. Just be aware that more and more states are requiring that nurse midwives complete a master’s degree, preferably a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Job Outlook/Schedule/Pay

The job outlook for registered nurses in the near future is good since government experts predict there will be a nursing shortage and since the number of women using midwives has increased tenfold in the last twenty years. Currently certified nurse midwives attend between 7 and 10 percent of all births in the United States.

As a nurse midwife, you will work sporadic hours and be on call 24 hours a day every day. You will probably hold regular office hours during the week, but you will need to be flexible with your schedule because you never know when one of your patients will go into labor. For all this work and responsibility, you can expect to be paid somewhere between $50,000 to $75,000 a year, depending on the area of the country where you work.

Although the hours can be long and the work can be physically demanding, it is also quite rewarding to assist with bringing a new life into the world.