So, you’ve decided you want to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.
Well, that is a fantastic career choice!
As a CNM, you can have a very fulfilling career as you make a great impact on the lives of women and their families.
Aside from that, salaries are great, opportunities are wonderful, and the work is exciting. What more do you want?
Despite the amazing benefits, it may surprise you to hear very few can get this position.
Complicated procedures, endless requirements, and confusing steps.
Well, we are here to solve all that!
In this article, we are offering you everything you need to know about how to become a CNM in Delaware in 4 simple, practical, and actionable steps.
Let’s crack on, shall we?
How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Delaware in 4 Steps
Here are the four steps to becoming a CNM in Delaware:
- Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Step #2: Acquire a Master’s in Nursing (or a Higher Degree)
- Step #3: Clear the National Certification Exam in Nurse-Midwifery
- Step #4: Apply for Your CNM License from the Delaware Board of Registered Nursing
Let’s discuss each step, one by one.
Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
You can’t jump into becoming a CNM. You first have to master the basic nursing skills so that when you go into advanced studies, you have a strong foundation.
This is why you need to become an RN first.
If you are already an RN, you can skip ahead to step 2.
Enroll at a Nursing Education Institute
To become an RN, you need to decide on what course you would like to take:
- Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Although the ADN route is shorter, choosing a BSN over an ADN is more beneficial if you’re planning to become a CNM.
It will provide you with a stronger foundation needed for advanced studies and make it easier for you to be admitted into a master’s program.
Passing the NCLEX
The NCLEX is the make or break in your career.
It is a national exam designed to test your knowledge and application of nursing principles. The nature of the test is MCQ-based, with approximately 100-200 questions.
A satisfactory result in the NCLEX is 80% or above. However, if you struggle the first time, you can always try again.
Application Submission to the Delaware Board of Nursing
After graduating and passing the NCLEX, the Delaware BON will accept your licensure application, as long as you comply with other requirements such as a Criminal Background Check.
For more information on how to become an RN in Delaware and the requirements you need for licensure, you can read this simple guide.
It may be tempting to go straight to enrolling in a CNM program. But it’s better to gain experience as an RN first.
Experience in the nursing workplace shows CNM program directors that you know how everything works on the ground, highlighting your enthusiasm and expertise.
That’s why we strongly suggest you work for at least one year after getting that RN license.
Step #2: Acquire a Master’s in Nursing (or a Higher Degree)
The true marks of an advanced nurse are the advanced training and certification they undergo to become specialized.
This is most commonly in the form of a master’s degree, but can also be met through a postgraduate degree or a doctorate.
Whatever program you enroll in, just make sure it is approved by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
Unfortunately, there are no accredited CNM programs in Delaware.
However, many of the CNM programs in other states offer online options. They partner with local health institutes for their students’ compliance with clinical hours.
Most CNM programs have around 40-60 credit hours and around 1,000 hours of clinical exposure.
Specializing is not easy but remember that a specialist nurse is well-respected and is considered an expert in his/her field. They are crucial members of the healthcare team.
Step #3: Clear the National Certification Exam in Nurse-Midwifery
The Delaware Board of Nursing requires candidates seeking APRN licensure to hold national certification in their specialty from an approved organization.
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), which administers the National Certification Exam, also grants the national nurse-midwife certification.
The exam is made up of 175 MCQs and takers have 4 hours to complete it.
It covers the following topics in their respective percentages:
- Antepartum – 21%
- Intrapartum – 21%
- Postpartum – 18%
- Newborn – 10%
- Well Woman/Gyn – 19%
- Women’s Health/Primary care – 11%
Candidates may submit an application to the AMCB for the National Certification Examination in Nurse-Midwifery requesting to:
AMCB, 849 International Drive, Suite 120
The AMCB will issue a Certificate in Nurse Midwifery to those who pass the examination.
For a detailed guide on the exam, you can check out the AMCB’s Candidate Handbook.
Step #4: Apply for Your CNM License from the Delaware Board of Registered Nursing
You’re almost there, all you have to do now is send your application to the Delaware Board of Registered Nursing.
General Application Requirements in Delaware
Upon receiving notification of passing test scores on the Certified Nurse Midwife Exam, you then have to apply for a license from the Board of Nursing.
CNM licenses fall under the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) category in Delaware.
To apply for a license, you must first have a DELPROS (Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services) user account.
This is where you will submit your application and attach the supporting documents.
Aside from the application and fee, you will need to submit:
- A Criminal Background Check
- A copy of your driver’s license or official identification card from the Division of Motor Vehicles.
- An official transcript sent from your APRN program to the Board office.
- A copy of your original certification notice or current re-certification card with your application.
- A Verification of National Certification form sent to the Board office by the AMCB
- A self-query from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) website at www.npdb.hrsa.gov.
These supporting documents will either be uploaded on DELPROS or mailed to the Board at the following address:
State of Delaware, Board of Nursing
861 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 203
Dover, DE 19904-2467
Nurse Midwife with Furnishing Number/ Prescriptive Authority
To set yourself apart, consider acquiring perspective authority which allows you to prescribe non-controlled substances.
To get prescriptive authority, completion of classes in the following areas is required:
- Advanced health assessments
- Midwifery diagnosis and management of issues about women’s health
- Advanced pathophysiology
- Advanced pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics
Additionally, to apply for prescriptive authority for controlled substances, APRNs need the following:
- Certification/number from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
For more information on the process, you can head to the Delaware BON website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Nurse Midwife in Delaware
How much does a CNM earn in Delaware?
Certified Nurse Midwives are among the highest-paid nursing categories. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNMs earn an annual wage of $137,070.
In Delaware, you can expect this figure to be around $110,000 – $125,000. It is important to note this figure varies depending on factors such as the amount of experience, where you reside, and the policies of your organization.
How often does an APRN need to renew his/her license?
You need to renew your license every two years.
Your APRN license expires at the same time as your RN license. But if you are using a multi-state RN license, then your APRN license will expire on September 30 in Delaware.
You can read more about the license renewal requirements here.
Wrapping it Up
One of the best ways to ensure success as an aspiring CNM is to be consistent.
The process is lengthy and tedious, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If you stay consistent and stick to the guide, you will be very successful.
A quick run-down of the plan: Become a BSN-RN, gain experience, enroll in an ACME-accredited master’s program (or higher), pass the national certification exam from the AMCB, apply for a license from the Delaware BON, and voila! You’re a CNM!
We hope you found this guide helpful in your journey to becoming a CNM.