Do you want to become a CNM?
That’s a great job option!
As advanced practice nurses, CNMs have great salaries, exciting career opportunities, and meaningful work.
Don’t get us wrong. The job of a CNM can also be difficult and demanding. But if you’re passionate about providing pre-and postnatal care to women, as well as during delivery and recovery, then you will find the job of a CNM very rewarding.
But despite the rewards, only a few pursue this career.
The procedures, requirements, and steps to becoming a CNM can be quite complicated and confusing.
But don’t worry, we are here to help solve all that!
In 5 simple, practical steps, we explain how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Georgia.
Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go!
How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Georgia in 5 Steps
These are the steps to becoming a CNM in Georgia:
- Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Step #2: Take a Master’s (or Higher) in Nurse Midwifery
- Step #3: Pass the National Certification Exam in Nurse-Midwifery
- Step #4: Apply for Your CNM License from the Georgia Board of Nursing
- Step #5: Start Working as a CNM in Georgia
Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
Since nurse midwives are specialists, this means they first need to learn the basic knowledge and skills of nurses.
They have to become registered nurses (RNs).
If you are already an RN, you can skip this step and go to step #2.
Enroll at a Nursing Education Institute
At a nursing education institute, you need to decide on what course you would like to take:
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The ADN is just a 2-year associate course on nursing fundamentals, while a BSN is a 4-year full-fledged bachelor’s degree in nursing fundamentals as well as practices.
Normally, you’d have the option to choose which of the two works for you.
However, in the case of a CNM aspirant, it’s best to take the BSN because a bachelor’s is a requirement when you do your Master’s (discussed below).
In some instances, an ADN-RN may be admitted into a master’s program, but in most cases, you will be required to take additional units or a bridge program first.
Passing the NCLEX
The dreaded exams have come, but whether you like them or not, they are the ‘make or break’ of your career.
In nursing, the examination is called the NCLEX. The NCLEX is designed to test your knowledge on a whole breadth of issues such as nursing fundamentals, practical application, core healthcare support, etc.
The exam is MCQ-based with around 100-200 questions. Prepare well and review hard!
Application Submission to the Georgia Board of Nursing
With a graduation certificate as well as NCLEX result in hand, you’ve met half of the requirements of the Georgia BON already.
For more details on the application requirements, you can read this article on how to become an RN in Georgia.
Step #2: Take a Master’s (or Higher) in Nurse Midwifery
We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of specialization. Well, this is where it begins – further education.
You can opt for a master’s, a postgraduate degree, or a doctorate for your specialization in nurse-midwifery, but a master’s degree is the most common pathway.
A master’s takes about 1 – 1 ½ years to complete if you are studying full-time. It will include about 40-60 credit hours and around 700-1000 clinical hours.
That sounds like a lot!
However, in the long run, a specialist is highly rewarded and offered career-changing opportunities.
Your CNM program should only be done at an accredited school approved by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
Accredited schools are those schools approved by the state or national agency for meeting national levels of education and quality.
According to the ACME website, currently, Georgia has two accredited schools:
- Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia
- Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia
A lot of CNM schools also offer online options. You can look into that, as well.
Step #3: Pass the National Certification Exam in Nurse-Midwifery
Through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), you may take the certification exam.
There are 175 multiple-choice questions on the AMCB computer-based exams. You have a maximum of four hours to complete the exam.
To be accepted as a candidate for certification, you must submit a legitimate examination application.
You can take the exam in your preferred Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) testing facility. The following cities in Georgia are home to AMP testing facilities:
For more details on the exam content, breakdown, application process, etc., you can refer to this Candidate Handbook.
Step #4: Apply for Your CNM License from the Georgia Board of Nursing
Once you complete your master’s or doctorate, it’s time to apply for your Certified Nurse Midwife license from the Georgia Board of Nursing.
General Application Requirements in Georgia
It’s good to know what requirements to submit beforehand to ensure a successful application.
These are the requirements:
- Application for Authorization as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
- Application fee of $90
- Official transcripts from your CNM program (must show proof of Advanced Pharmacology as well as the APRN role/specialty)
- Verification of active, national certification in nurse-midwifery from the AMCB
- Proof of any of the following within the past four years:
- employment documenting at least three months/500 hours of APRN practice OR
- graduation from an approved nursing program OR
- completion of a Georgia-approved CNM reentry/refresher program
- Court documents, letter of explanation, or enrollment in alternatives to discipline for disciplinary sanctions (if applicable)
- Background Consent Form
- Affidavit of Citizenship
- Immigration Documents (if applicable)
- Secure and Verifiable Document, such as a Driver’s license or U.S. passport
You can send your application online through the online portal.
You can also send your application by mail by putting all documents in a 9×12 envelope and sending it to:
Georgia Board of Nursing
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217
A reply on your license from the Georgia BON will take around 3-4 weeks.
If you’ve been approved you will automatically be added to the list of CNMs. If not, you will be informed through whatever contact details you have provided.
Fantastic! You’ve got your license and you can start practicing.
But wait for just a second, because we’ve got an excellent pro tip for you: If you want to stand out of the crowd and show employers your capabilities, consider acquiring prescriptive authority.
What is prescriptive authority?
It allows you to prescribe drugs and medications to patients independent of any supervision.
To do this, you have to submit a nurse protocol agreement to the Board. Both the APRN and the delegating physician must sign the agreement.
Step #5: Start Working as a CNM in Georgia
If your application gets accepted, you will become a licensed APRN-CNM in Georgia and can start working as one.
As a CNM, you get to earn a much higher salary compared to when you were an RN.
According to Salary.com, CNMs in Georgia earn an average annual salary of $117,092.
The range is usually from $107,666 to $132,725, depending on several factors such as your city, years of experience, type of education, position, etc.
But while you enjoy your career, don’t forget to keep your licenses updated.
You have to renew your license every two years.
You can refer to this simple guide for more information on the CE requirements in Georgia.
The Wrap Up
Becoming a CNM is a long journey and takes years to complete.
However, there is no point in counting the days and waiting for it all to be over. Take everything one step at a time, enjoy it, work hard, and make the most out of your time.
As a recap, remember to first become an RN (with a BSN degree). Once you’ve got an RN license, get some experience and acquire a Master’s. With a Master’s in hand, you can now take the national exam from the AMCB. After clearing the exam, apply for CNM licensure in Georgia.
To truly succeed in this journey, there is one important thing to keep in mind: Enjoy the process.
Keep the end goal in mind and the benefits that come along with it.
And that’s it! That’s how you become a CNM in Georgia.
We wish you all the best on your journey!