How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Colorado – A Simple Guide

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Colorado

Do you have a passion for providing specialized care to women, especially expecting mothers?

Then you might want to consider becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife or CNM.

As a CNM, you get to counsel, assist, and care for women, no matter what their age is. But in most cases, CNMs manage women who are undergoing preconception, pregnancy, and childbirth.

To become a CNM, however, you need to fulfill all the necessary steps required by the State Board of Nursing.

Not sure what they are?

Don’t worry because we have everything you need to know about how to become a CNM in Colorado covered in this article!

We’ll go through each step, explain the documents you need to prepare, and answer some FAQs of aspiring CNMs.

But before we proceed, make sure that you are a BSN graduate and that you have an active RN license. You’ll need it for your application.

If you are not yet an RN in Colorado, you can read this simple guide

Ready to become a CNS?

Read on to know how.

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Colorado in 4 Steps

A Certified Nurse Midwife is a type of Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). This guide assumes that you are already an RN with at least one year of work experience. 

If you got that covered, then you can jump right into the steps of how to become a nurse midwife in Colorado:

  • Step #1: Earn a Graduate Degree in Nurse Midwifery
  • Step #2: Get your National Certification in Nurse Midwifery
  • Step #3: Apply for an APN License with the Colorado Board of Nursing
  • Step #4: Practice as an APN-CNM and Renew your License

Step #1: Earn a Graduate Degree in Nurse Midwifery

The first requirement of the state is to make sure you graduate from a nurse-midwifery program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education or ACME.

Colorado only has one ACME-accredited midwifery school at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.

But there are no restrictions as to how you’ll complete your program, which means you can take an accredited online program if you can’t go to the University of Colorado. 

However, if you want to get the full schooling experience, you can go to on-campus ones. 

Admission Requirements

Whatever school you choose, you will need to have these complete:

  • Current and active RN license
  • Proof of completion of nursing prerequisite courses or BSN
  • Proof of minimum GPA
  • A personal essay or a video essay stating your purpose
  • Letters of recommendation

Graduate Program Courses

During your studies, you will need to accomplish around 40-60 credits of coursework and complete the minimum 1,000 hours of clinical education.

Expect that throughout the program you will be going through the following courses:

  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Advanced pharmacology for childbearing women
  • Complication pregnancies and deliveries
  • Labor, birth, and newborn care procedures
  • Legal issues and ethics in maternal healthcare
  • Mother and infant biostatistics
  • Psychology for pregnancy
  • Research methods for advanced-practice nurses

For students who are enrolled in online programs, we advise that you work with your faculty to find local clinical programs to complete your clinical education.

Here are some of the clinics and hospitals you can check out:

  • Boulder Medical Center
  • Center for Midwifery
  • Clinical Education Center
  • Denver Health Hospital
  • Memorial Hospital in North Colorado Springs
  • Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo
  • University Nurse Midwives

Once you’ve completed your degree, it’s time to move to the next step.

Step #2: Get Your National Certification in Nurse Midwifery

Before you can get the CNM license in Colorado, you need to get the national certification first.

How? You need to take the licensing exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)

The testing agency that handles the examinations is Applied Measurement Professional or APM. You can take the exam in 2 areas, Aurora and Grand Junction, and you can select the site you prefer upon your exam registration.

How do you apply for the CNM exam?

To register for the examination, you need to fill in this application form and send it over to AMCB 849 International Drive, Suite 120, Linthicum, MD 21090.

What should you expect in the exam?

The exam is divided into 6 parts, with a total of 175 questions. The different exam sections are:

  • Antepartum
  • Intrapartum
  • Postpartum
  • Gynecology
  • Women’s Health and Primary Care
  • Newborn

You will be given 4 hours to complete the exam. 

Once you’ve passed the exam, you will receive your Certificate in Nurse Midwifery.

Step #3: Apply for an APN License with the Colorado Board of Nursing

You’re now a step closer to becoming a CNM in Colorado!

What you need to do next is to apply online through the Division of Professions and Occupations Online Services Portal. But before you do so, complete the checklist required by the state’s board.

The checklist includes:

  • Payment of the application fee
  • Information regarding other healthcare licenses you may have held.
  • Verification of your National Certification 
  • Selection of your population focus. 
  • Declaration of your primary state of residence (PSOR)
  • Attestation to holding professional liability insurance

If you hold a Colorado RN license, you will need to admit to holding one. But if you hold a multi-state RN license from another compact state, you will need to upload a few more documents.

You can see the full checklist here. 

Once you’ve completed the application, you need to create a Healthcare Professional Profile with the DORA. This account will help you find a potential employer and vice versa.

Out-of-State Applicants

If you’re an RN with an APN status from another state, then you can still become a CNM in Colorado as long as you fulfill the following conditions:

  • Your state is part of the APRN Compact
  • You have previous experience as an APN in your home state for the last 2 to 5 years

Step #4: Practice as an APN-CNM and Renew Your License in Colorado

You’ve passed the national certification and you now hold your Colorado CNM license.

What do you do next?

You look for where you can apply! 

These are good options for where to start looking:

  • The Birth Center of Boulder
  • Beautiful Beginnings Birth Services in Fort Collins
  • Mountain Midwifery Birth Center in Englewood
  • Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center in Grand Junction
  • Monfort Family Birth Center at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley
  • Labor and Delivery Unit with Denver Health
  • Poudre Valley Hospital Birthing Center
  • Memorial Hospital North’s Birth Center in Colorado Springs
  • Birth Center at the Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo
  • Tristar Centennial Women’s Hospital
  • Boulder Community Health’s Family Birth Center
  • Midwifery Fellow at the UC Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver
  • Certified Nurse Midwife at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver
  • Women’s Services Nurse Practitioner at the Castle Rock Adventist Medical Campus
  • Certified Nurse Midwife with the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) in Denver
  • Certified Nurse Midwife for an Instructor position at the UC College of Nursing in Denver
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with an OB/GYN office in Greenwood Village
  • Certified Nurse Midwife at the Denver Center for Birth and Wellness

As you continue your practice, don’t forget to renew your CNM license every 2 years. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a CNM in Colorado

What is the annual salary of CNMs in Colorado?

According to the BLS, the mean annual salary of CNMs in Colorado is $113,950. 

Your exact salary will depend on several factors, however, such as what city you are in, how many years of experience you have, what facility you work in, etc. 

How do I renew my APN license in Colorado?

After 2 years of practicing, you now need to renew your license at the same time as your RN license.

Just log into your DORA account and register your renewal online.

Alongside the application, you need to prove your continued competency in any of the two ways:

  • Maintain national certification from AMCB and/or NCC
  • Petition to the Board of Nursing for another method to demonstrate competency

For those who will approach AMCB for renewal, you are required to complete one of the following:

  • Re-examination
  • Completion of three certificate maintenance modules and at least 20 hours of continuing education


Now there you have it!

Those are the steps you need to take to become a CNM in Colorado.

Yes, it will take time and effort, but the process itself is pretty straightforward. 

The longest part is usually the completion of educational requirements. But once you’ve finished that, all you need to do is take exams and submit the forms correctly and completely.

So, if you just follow this guide step-by-step, you’ll find yourself a CNM in no time!

We wish you the best on your journey toward becoming a CNM!

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