There are many specializations you can take in nursing.
One that is continuously growing in demand is nurse-midwifery. And Maine is a state that is known for their midwifery care.
Last 2018, almost 14% of births were assisted by certified nurse midwives or CNMs, and this number has grown and is expected to grow in the next few years.
This is also because CNMs do more than assist women during labor. They provide care to women during pregnancy and postpartum, assist in the health care of newborns up to age one, and also treat sexually transmitted diseases.
If these are tasks that you know you’d enjoy, then being a CNM could be the right specialization for you.
But becoming a CNM is easier said than done. There are a lot of processes involved.
But don’t worry! We’ve come up with a guide that will help you reach your desired destination.
In this article, we’ll list down all you need to know about how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Maine.
We only have 4 steps and we’re confident that, with time and dedication, you can achieve them all.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in!
How to Become a Nurse Midwife in Maine in 4 Simple Steps
Before anything else, it’s important to keep in mind that nurse-midwifery is an advanced practice of nursing. This means that you first need to become a nurse before you can pursue nurse-midwifery.
So, if you are not yet an RN, you can read our simple guide on how to become an RN in Maine.
Once you are an RN, you can proceed to the 4 steps to becoming a CNM. These are the steps:
- Step #1: Get a Graduate Degree in Nurse Midwifery
- Step #2: Pass the National Certification Exam
- Step #3: Apply for Your License through the Maine State Board of Nursing
- Step #4: Start Your Career as a CNM and Renew Your License
Step #1: Get a Graduate Degree in Nurse Midwifery
If you already hold an RN license, then you can advance in your coursework by getting a master’s degree.
However, most schools accept RNs who graduated with a BSN degree rather than those who graduated with an ADN.
But if you didn’t graduate with a BSN, you still have other options for becoming a CNM.
ACME allows several educational paths to complete the required coursework:
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): The most straightforward and standard path is getting an MSN focused on Nurse Midwifery after getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
- RN to MSN: RNs who possess an associate’s degree can take an RN to MSN bridge program which will cover the important subjects that you lack.
- Post-Graduate Certification Programs: Are you a student who already has an APRN license and still wants an additional specialization? If you are, then good news – you can still add CNM under your belt. Unfortunately, you still have to go through the entire process of studying and applying for a license, since this is an entirely different specialization.
In Maine, you need to enroll in a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Sadly, there are no ACME-approved schools in Maine itself.
Thankfully, there are accredited schools in nearby states as well as online programs, so it’ll be easier for those who wish to continue working while studying for their degree.
To prepare yourself for the journey of becoming CNM, keep in mind that you’ll need at least 2 years to finish your master’s degree. It can stretch up to 3 years if you are a working student.
Aside from showing proof of an active RN license, most schools also require:
- At least one year of work experience as a licensed RN
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Minimum GRE scores
- Professional experience or a comprehensive resume
- Admissions essay
- Letters of recommendation from colleagues and other relevant individuals
- Advanced health assessment for advanced practice nurses
- Advanced pharmacology for advanced practice nurses
- Advanced pathophysiology
- Healthcare for women and primary care
- Global perspectives on health
- Intrapartum and postpartum care
- Midwifery perspectives
- Newborn care
- Professional issues for nurse-midwives
- Reproductive physiology
You also need to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical training. In Maine, you complete these requirements in the following centers:
- All About Women, Portland
- Blue Hill Women’s Healthcare, Blue Hill
- Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick
- Southern Maine Health Care, Biddeford
- Down East Community Hospital, Machias
Step #2: Pass the National Certification Exam
Now that you’re done getting your master’s degree, the next step is to take and pass the American Midwifery Certification Board exam. Passing this will qualify you to get a license from Maine.
This exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions and each examinee is given 4 hours to answer, review, and complete the exam.
In Maine, you are required to take the exam in Applied Measurement Professionals testing centers. There are two locations for the state, one is in Holden, the other in Portland.
The AMCB provides a candidate handbook that gives more details on how to apply for the exam, who is qualified, the type of exam, and the coverage.
Step #3: Apply for Your License Through the Maine State Board of Nursing
To apply as a CNM in Maine, you need to complete an online application for APRN licensure.
Together with the filled-out form, you need to submit the following:
- Recent passport-style photograph (2×2)
- A signature page that is manually signed
- Supporting documentation for all ‘yes’ responses in the disciplinary section
- Application fee of $100
- Proof of an active, registered nursing license in Maine or another compact state
- CNM verification of certification sent directly from the AMCB to the BON
- Transcript of your master’s degree (sent by your school’s registrar directly to the Board)
- Prescriptive practice requirements
- A criminal background check
You can read more about the requirements here.
Once your application is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing, you will receive your APRN license.
Step #4: Start Your Career as a CNM and Renew Your License
Finally, you now have your CNM license! I’m sure you can’t wait to start.
But where should you apply as a CNM?
In Maine, the most common areas where CNMs are employed are in women’s health centers, hospitals, birthing centers, and public health agencies.
Some of the centers that usually have job openings are:
- Coastal Women’s Healthcare, Scarborough
- Calais Regional Hospital, Calais
- Women to Women’s Healthcare Center, Yarmouth
- Lincoln County Healthcare, Damariscotta
- Maine Medical Partners, Women’s Health, Portland
The mean annual salary of CNMs in Maine is $134,440. Depending on your performance, tenure, and your employer, you can earn higher than this.
But as you continue enjoying the fruits of your labor, don’t forget to renew your license!
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Become a CNM in Maine
Do I need to apply for the Prescriptive Authority separately?
No. As a CNM in Maine, you are automatically allowed to prescribe drugs to patients.
What are the license renewal requirements in Maine?
To maintain your CNM license, you need to complete at least 50 continuing education hours every 2 years.
Those with prescriptive authority have an additional requirement of 3 contact hours in prescribing opioid medication.
For more information about the CE requirements in Maine, you can read this guide.
For your renewal application, you can submit it online in Maine’s Regulatory Licensing and Permitting portal.
On top of this, you must also meet the requirements of AMCB’s Certification Maintenance program. You have two options on how to complete them:
- Option 1: Complete at least 3 maintenance modules every 5-year cycle and have at least 20 contact hours of continuing education units; pay the annual fees
- Option 2: Retake the AMCB Certification exam and pay $500 instantly instead of paying the annual fees
How much do CNMs in Maine earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNMs have a mean annual salary of $134,440 in Maine.
What are the areas in Maine that have higher salaries for CNMs?
Based on our research, Northeast Maine, Lewiston-Auburn, and Southwest Maine have higher salaries for CNMs.
And there you have it!
Those are the 4 steps you need to take to become a CNM in Maine!
The longest and most grueling part would be getting your master’s degree. Everything after that can be completed in a few months, as long as you prepare the necessary paperwork for your applications.
That’s why having a guide like this is good. You know what you need to submit and can prepare it beforehand. It will save you time and energy.
We wish you all the best on your journey to becoming a CNM!