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

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Maryland featured image

There’s more to being a certified nurse midwife (CNM) than assisting women during labor.

A CNM is an advanced practice registered nurse who attends to women’s reproductive health, oversees a woman’s pregnancy and childbirth, teaches patients about preventive women’s health, and intervenes in pharmacological pain management.

This is why there are several requirements one needs to fulfill to become a CNM.

The process can be somewhat confusing, but we’ve come up with a simple guide to help you out. 

Thankfully, there are only 4 simple steps you need to achieve this goal. 

In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Maryland.

We also included some FAQs from other aspiring CNMs, just like you. 


Let’s dive in.

How to Become a CNM in Maryland in 4 Steps

Before we dive into the steps to becoming a CNM, we need to make sure that you are already a Registered Nurse. You have to cover the basics first!

So, if you are not an RN, you can read this guide on how to become an RN in Maryland

Already an RN? Then you can go straight to the 4 steps to becoming a CNM:

Step #1: Get a Master’s Degree in Nurse Midwifery

Nurse Midwifery is an area of specialization in nursing. 

Because of this, all aspiring CNMs need to complete at least a master’s degree program in this field. 

However, you need to make sure that you are enrolling in a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). 

Unfortunately, there are no accredited programs in Maryland at the moment. You can choose to study in a nearby state or enroll in an accredited online program. 

Admission Requirements

The exact requirements will differ per school, but there are a few basic requirements.

You should have:

  • Graduated from a BSN course or its equivalent. (You can take an RN to BSN bridge program if you are an ADN-RN).
  • A current, unrestricted RN license
  • A minimum GPA 

Program Course Structure

All accredited programs, online or in-person, would have the following courses:

  • Ambulatory Care of Women
  • Biostatistics for Health Care Providers
  • Physiology & Pathophysiology
  • Family Crisis Care
  • Newborn Care
  • Midwifery Care During Labor
  • Midwifery Care During Pregnancy
  • Pharmacology
  • Women’s Reproductive Healthcare

Aside from completing these theoretical courses, you would also need to complete at least 700 hours of clinical work throughout the program. 

For students who opt for online programs, you can ask your school directors to coordinate with the following facilities and centers to accomplish the required practical work:

  • Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis
  • Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy Medical Hospital in Baltimore
  • Holy Cross Hospital in Rockville
  • Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cleverly

Step #2: Pass the National Certification Nurse Midwife Exam

To test how much you’ve learned and gauge your preparedness, you are required to take and pass the national exam offered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

The exam is a 175-item multiple-choice test that you can take for up to 4 hours.

It is also divided into the following sections:

  • Antepartum – 19-26 percent
  • Intrapartum – 17-26 percent
  • Postpartum – 15-18 percent
  • Gynecology – 15-18 percent
  • Women’s health and primary care – 8-16 percent
  • Newborn – 7-16 percent

For additional information on what to expect from the exam, you can check out AMCB’s Candidate Handbook.

If you pass the exam, you’ll automatically receive the CNM certification together with the result.

Step #3: Apply for your CNM License through the Maryland Board of Nursing

Once you’ve completed and passed the CNM exam, you are now qualified to apply for a CNM license in Maryland. 

Make sure to check out the application for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) since CNMs fall under Maryland’s APRN applications. 

All you need to do is print the Nurse Midwife Certification Application form, fill it out completely, and send it together with the following documents to the Board:

  • A copy of their active Maryland RN license or RN compact license from your state of legal residence
  • CNM national certification issued by the AMCB
  • A copy of your current CCA card (if your CNM certificate was issued without an expiration date) 
  • $50 application fee payable to the Maryland Board of Nursing 
  • Proof of residency in Maryland. You can choose 2 from any of the following:
    • Driver’s License
    • Federal income tax return
    • Voter’s registration card
    • W2 form
    • or a Military Form #2058 from the government

Once all are complete, you can send them over to the Maryland Board of Nursing at this address: Advance Practice Department Maryland Board of Nursing, 4140 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215-2254.

After submission, you should allow four weeks for the Board to process your application. 

If your application is approved, you will receive your APRN license for nurse midwifery.

However, the Board may also see fit to ask you for a few more documents. 

Step #4: Practice as a CNM and Renew Your License

Now that you have your Maryland CNM license, the next question is – where do you apply for work?

CNMs are mostly needed in hospitals, birth centers, and primary care clinics. In Maryland, some of the CNMs are also employed in community health care and research clinics.

To help you in your search, we’ve listed some of the state’s top CNM employers:

  • Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville
  • Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis
  • Bay Area Midwifery Center in Annapolis
  • Better Birth Center in Bowie
  • Birthright in Frederick
  • Calvert Memorial Hospital in Frederick
  • Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy Medical Hospital in Baltimore
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center – Labor and Delivery in Towson
  • Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown, Silver Spring, and Rockville
  • Laurel Regional Hospital in Laurel
  • MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore
  • MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton
  • Meritus Health Family Birthing Center in Hagerstown
  • Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cleverly
  • Riverside Midwifery, LLC in Buckeystown
  • Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore
  • Sinai Hospital in Baltimore
  • Southern Maryland Women’s Healthcare, P.A. in Leonardtown
  • Special Beginnings Birth & Women’s Center in Annapolis
  • Suburban Hospital in Bethesda
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
  • Union Hospital in Elkton
  • University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata
  • University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore

And when you’ve finally landed a job, you should keep in mind that you have to renew your license.

CNMs in Maryland do not need to complete CE to renew their APRN licenses… However, they do need to keep their national certification active. 

The AMCB has its own requirements for CNMs to keep their certification active. 

FAQs about Becoming a Nurse Midwife in Maryland 

How much do CNMs earn yearly?

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNMs in Maryland earn a mean salary of $120,170 annually. 

If you are new in the field, the starting salary starts at around $85,750.

As you go higher in rank and length of stay, you can also expect a higher salary from your employer. 

You can also check out job opportunities in Baltimore and Columbia. These are the areas that offer higher salaries for CNMs.

What’s the difference between a Certified Midwife and a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Before we enumerate the differences, we want to make it clear that both midwives offer prenatal, labor, delivery, and postnatal care to their patients. 

The two mainly differ in their educational attainment and scope of practice.

A CM has only completed an undergraduate degree, while a CNM has obtained an undergraduate degree, an RN license, and a master’s degree.

In terms of scope, CMs usually practice within primary healthcare services, plus education and counseling. On the other hand, CNMs can prescribe medications while CMs cannot.

How much are the application fees for CNMs in Maryland?

The certification fee from the AMCB is $500, while the CNM license application fee in Maryland is $50.


Now you know the 4 steps to becoming a nurse midwife (CNM) in Maryland!

Yes, the process is quite lengthy and will require effort and dedication.

But the job of a CNM is very fulfilling if you have a heart to care for women and their families. 

And don’t forget the rewarding salaries, too. The longer you are in the practice, the higher your rates can grow. 

Now, with a guide like this, you can plan and ensure you are taking all the proper steps to reach your goal. 

We hope you found this helpful and we wish you all the best!

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