Developing a specialization is a great way to expand your career opportunities as a nurse.
Nurse-midwifery, in particular, is a good specialization if you want to provide care for women in different life stages, focusing primarily on pregnancy and childbirth.
However, the journey to becoming a certified nurse midwife (CNM) can be complex if you’re just starting.
You have to undergo further training and deal with certification and licensure requirements.
That’s why we’ve simplified the process in this guide.
We’ll tell you how to become a nurse midwife (CNM)
Read on to learn how to become a nurse midwife in Michigan!
How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Michigan in 4 Steps
If you want to become a nurse midwife, there are four main steps you need to follow:
- Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Earn a Master’s degree in nurse-midwifery
- Pass the national nurse-midwifery certification examination
- Gain advanced practice licensure for nurse-midwifery
Let’s discuss each one.
Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
Before you can even begin the process of specializing in nurse-midwifery, you need to become a Registered Nurse.
The best way to become an RN is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree since this will cover all the prerequisite nursing courses needed for a Master’s degree.
However, if you’re an RN with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can still specialize in nurse-midwifery – the process will just be a bit trickier for you.
You will have to apply to an RN-to-MSN program that specializes in nurse-midwifery. This will help you earn your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in one go.
After graduating, you will need to take the NCLEX-RN and apply for a license from the Michigan Board of Nursing.
To find out more about how to become an RN in Michigan, you can read this guide.
Step #2: Earn a Master’s Degree in Nurse-Midwifery
Once you have your Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can then earn your Master’s degree in nurse-midwifery.
It is important to note that your school MUST be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
This is the organization in charge of accrediting midwifery schools so that healthcare professionals are properly trained.
If your school is not accredited by ACME, your education won’t be recognized, and your efforts will be for nothing.
When choosing a school, you have two main categories: in-person or online classes.
If you find it easier to learn when in a physical classroom, and you have the time, in-person classes are a great choice.
There are two ACME-accredited schools in Michigan:
- University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor
- Wayne State University College of Nursing in Detroit
However, if you’d like more schools to choose from, as well as flexibility, online classes are the better option.
In general, nurse-midwifery programs will require conceptual and clinical classes.
Clinical classes will always be done in person. If you’re studying remotely, your school should have partner hospitals that you can attend in person.
School requirements will differ, but generally, you will need:
- A current RN license
- Transcripts from your BSN program
- Your GRE score
- Your undergraduate GPA
- An admission essay
- Letters of recommendation
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, you can also study to be a women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP).
Many schools now offer programs with dual specializations in nurse-midwifery and women’s health.
Step #3: Pass the National Nurse-Midwifery Certification Examination
Once you earn your Master’s degree in nurse-midwifery, you can then apply to take the Certified Nurse Midwife exam, which is administered through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
The exam is conducted at AMP testing centers which are located in Dearborn, Flint, and Wyoming.
The exam will have 175 multiple-choice questions, which cover:
- Antepartum (19-26%)
- Intrapartum (17-26%)
- Postpartum (15-18%)
- Gynecology (15-18%)
- Women’s health and primary care (8-16%)
- Newborn (7-16%)
Luckily, AMCB provides a Candidate Handbook, which you can study to prepare for the exam.
If you want to be a WHNP as well, you will have to take an exam through the National Certification Corporation (NCC).
The WHNP exam will have 150 questions, which cover:
- Pharmacology (5-10%)
- Primary Care (10-15%)
- Diagnostic testing and physical assessment (10-15%)
- Obstetrics (25-30%)
- Gynecology (35-40%)
The exam is conducted at the same testing centers as the nurse-midwifery exam, and a Candidate Guide is also available for review.
If you pass these exams, you will gain a CNM and CNP certification. However, you can also just focus on becoming a CNM.
Step #4: Gain Advanced Practice Licensure for Nurse-Midwifery
To gain advanced practice licensure for nurse-midwifery in Michigan, you have to apply to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
You will need to:
- Fill out the application form and pay the fee ($40.55- $50.45)
- Undergo a Criminal Background Check – You will be emailed instructions for this after you submit your application.
- Answer good moral character questions – You will need to submit documentation if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions.
- Undergo training to identify victims of human trafficking
- Provide your Social Security Number
- Show a current and valid RN license in Michigan – This should be sent directly from the licensing agency to the Board.
- Demonstrate English language proficiency
- Undergo Implicit Bias Training
- Show proof of professional education
- Hold national certification from the AMCB
For more information on the licensing process, you can read instructions from the Board under ‘Licensing Information – Nursing License Guide.’
You can also apply to become a licensed WHNP by filling out the Nurse Practitioner Specialty Certification form on the LARA website.
Once you get your license, you can then start looking for jobs!
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNM in Michigan
What Is the Average Salary for a CNM in Michigan?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 average annual salary for Michigan CNMs ranged from $45,000 to $61,000 for entry-level jobs.
For all Michigan CNMs, regardless of experience, the average salary was roughly $92,000.
In general, CNMs based in Ann Arbor earn an average of $111,000 each year. In comparison, CNMs based in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn earn an average of $83,000 each year.
Which Michigan Schools Are Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME)?
As of this writing, there are only two Michigan schools accredited by ACME: the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
The University of Michigan has a Nurse-Midwifery program which was ranked as the second best program in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. The University of Michigan was also the pioneer of Nurse-Midwifery education in the state.
As far as requirements for their Master’s degree go, no work experience is needed for RNs.
Wayne State University has a Nurse-Midwife program. In 2018, graduates of their program had a total pass rate of 41.7%.
The program requires 48 credit hours, as well as 600+ hours of clinical experience.
For requirements, Wayne State University requires at least one year of RN experience before taking clinical courses.
As you read above, you only need to complete four steps to become a CNM in Michigan!
Each step requires time and effort, especially the amount of education required for the career.
But a guide like this can give you a smooth journey since you already know what to expect and can prepare ahead.
So, just follow each step and you’ll become a CNM before you know it!
You can look forward to more career opportunities, a higher salary, and a meaningful career.
We wish you all the best on your journey to becoming a nurse midwife in Michigan!