What is a Nurse Midwife?
An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who oversees the gynecologic and general care of women is known as a nurse midwife. Nurse midwives are experts in helping women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries. They offer pregnancies and the newborns' postpartum care, as well as treatment during childbirth.
The distinction between a nurse midwife and a regular or lay midwife must be understood. While lay midwives do not need to have formal education or certification, nurse midwives must. Nurse midwives combine a formal nursing education with practical midwifery expertise. A nurse midwife is an RN with the skills to work in a variety of medical specialties and offer women and their newborn children a wide range of medical services. A lay midwife solely assists during childbirth and labor. Nurse midwives are registered nurses (RNs) with professional medical training. They can provide a major fraction of the prenatal and postoperative care that expecting moms require. Few doctors advise delivering a baby at home or having it delivered by a lay midwife because birthing might include several problems.
As was already said, nurse midwives are quite important during labor. The safety of the mother and child throughout labor and delivery is their first duty.
However, nurse midwives also promote their patients' health and wellbeing both before and after childbirth. They offer prenatal care, gynecological checkups, and family planning services.
Since nurse midwives are qualified to practice both nursing and midwifery, they can work in a variety of healthcare facilities, both public and private. These consist of clinics for giving birth, educational institutions, and private medical offices.
Scope of Practice
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) provide healthcare in all 50 US states. Midwifery as practiced by CNMs includes a range of health care services for women and individuals from adolescence through the life course. These services include the independent provision of:
- Primary care
- Gynecologic, sexual, and reproductive services for women, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals
- Pregnancy-related care, including prenatal care, birth, and postpartum
- Assessment of the newborn and care of the well-term newborn during the first 28 days of life
- Treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections
- Health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling.
Centers & Institutes
Healthcare Delivery by Nurse Midwives in the US
To become a registered nurse-midwife, you must go through a variety of processes. The first stage is to obtain a local State Nursing Board-approved bachelor's degree in nursing. Following completion of a bachelor's degree, a candidate must sit for and pass the NCLEX-RN examination to become a registered nurse (RN). Once a nurse holds this designation, they are able to start working as a nurse and gain experience.
The following stage is to pursue a graduate degree in nurse-midwifery, such as a master's or doctoral degree. For most schools, applicants must have at least one year of experience working as a nurse in order to be accepted for these programs. An advanced degree in nurse-midwifery may take two years or longer to complete, depending on the curriculum.
The final requirement to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is to pass the American Midwifery Certification Board exam after receiving an advanced degree in nurse-midwifery. A CNM is able to practice nurse-midwifery in all 50 states and all U.S. territories because of this.
Despite the fact that nurse-midwives deal with childbirth, this is simply one of the reasons women seek their care. In actuality, a nurse-midwife spends 90% of her time giving preventative care.
The fact that nurse-midwives take a holistic approach to treatment is the key factor in women's decision to seek help from them. This strategy avoids unneeded technological involvement and is low-tech and high-touch. A CNM is more concerned with wellness, health, and prevention. This entails providing care that is specific to each woman's requirements and acknowledging that giving birth is a natural, physiological process.
Since nurse-midwives prioritize not using technology during birth, the overall cost of giving birth is lower. Only 1% of nurse-midwives' assisted births take place at home, while 2% occur in birthing facilities. These deliveries are substantially less expensive and less invasive than typical hospital births because little to no technology or equipment is employed.
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The material presented above is only meant to be informative and is not intended to take the place of advice from your doctor or another health care practitioner. We advise you to talk to your provider about any questions or issues you may have.