After a few years of working as a nurse in Montana, you might want to advance your knowledge and skills and further your career.
You could aim for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license.
An APRN is a registered nurse who has earned advanced and specialized nursing education, such as in Nurse-Midwifery.
Specifically, nurse-midwives specialize not only in prenatal, labor, birth, and postnatal care, but also in women’s health management, gynecological care, and counseling.
Today, we will talk about how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Montana.
Since it is an advanced area of nursing, there are a lot of requirements you need to comply with.
But we’ve simplified it into 4 major steps.
We’ll also answer some FAQs afterward.
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!
How to Become a Nurse-Midwife (CNM) in Montana in 4 Steps
Before we begin, we want to clarify that we are talking about CNMs in this article, not CMs (certified midwives). The latter is not a nurse and does not need an RN license.
Also, to become a CNM, you must first have a valid RN license.
If you do not have one yet, this comprehensive guide will show you how to get one.
Otherwise, you can start with Step #1.
- Step #1: Get Your Graduate Degree in Nurse-Midwifery
- Step #2: Pass the CNM Certification Exam
- Step #3: Apply for Licensure through the Montana Board of Nursing
- Step #4: Maintain Your Montana CNM License
Step #1: Get Your Graduate Degree in Nurse-Midwifery.
As a certified nurse-midwife, you will help women before, during, and after their pregnancy.
You will learn how to care for newborns, prescribe medication, and provide consultation to expectant mothers and their families.
It involves rigorous training and hours of coursework.
Thus, the Montana Board of Nursing requires all APRN applicants to complete a master’s degree (MSN) or a post-graduate program in nurse-midwifery.
The program you enroll in should be accredited by ACME (Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education).
Currently, there are no ACME-accredited programs in Montana. So, you can either enroll in a nearby state that has an accredited program or avail of an online option.
Most universities and institutions now offer online degrees, so if you need a flexible option, you can take your courses virtually or on a hybrid setup.
Below are the common admissions requirements of CNM programs:
- Transcripts from your BSN degree
- A current RN license
- Recommendation letters from supervisors or directors
- Minimum GRE score
- Minimum Undergraduate GPA
- Admissions essay
The master’s program will take about two years to complete, but if you are a working student, you can opt to attend part-time. It could take another two years to finish, though.
Some of the courses covered by the MSN programs include:
- ambulatory care of women,
- midwifery care during pregnancy and labor,
- newborn care,
- nursing research,
- biostatistics for healthcare providers
For the mandatory clinical work, there are more than ten clinics and facilities in Montana where you can accumulate 700-1,000 hours of hands-on experience.
To name a few:
- Community Medical Center in Missoula,
- Marias Medical Center in Shelby,
- Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson
Step #2: Pass the CNM Certification Exam
The next step is to pass the national certification exam for certified nurse-midwives.
The exam is administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
Remember, you must pass the exam within 24 months of finishing your nursing master’s degree.
The CNM exam consists of 175 multiple-choice items, 25 of which are practice questions.
The four-hour time limit does not include the time for tutorials, so arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled exam.
To be eligible for the exam, you must first apply online or via mail.
|Apply Online||Apply by Mail|
|1. Sign in to the AMCB website.|
2. Create a new account.
3. Log in and go to CNM/CM Exam applications.
4. Accomplish the online form and submit it.
|1. Print and fill out the CNM application form.|
2. Mail the form to the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) along with proof of RN licensure and check payment of $500.
American Midwifery Certification Board, Inc.849 International Drive, Suite 120Linthicum, MD 21090
The AMCB will notify you via email once they approve your application. Afterward, you can schedule your exam online via PSI or by calling the PSI hotline at 800-345-6559 or 888-519-9901.
The exam fee is $500.
There are testing centers in Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula.
Read the online candidate handbook provided by AMCB for more information about the CNM national certification exam.
If you pass, you will become a nationally certified nurse midwife.
Step #3: Apply for Licensure through the Montana Board of Nursing
Once you successfully pass the certification exam, you can submit your application for licensure to the Montana Board of Nursing.
Below is a list of documents you need:
- Accomplished application form
- $75 check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to the Montana Board of Nursing (and an additional $100 if you are applying for Prescriptive Authority)
- Active Montana RN license (must not expire 90 days from submission of application) or a current multistate license from another NLC state
- National certification verification
- Proof of completion of a qualifying CNM program (to be sent by the university or institution to the board)
- License verification for all professional licenses held
- Completed fingerprint form
You can complete your background check requirement by getting your prints at a local law enforcement agency.
Then, mail your completed fingerprint form along with a $27.50 check or money order payable to the Montana Department of Justice through the following address:
Montana Criminal Records
2225 11th Ave.
P.O. Box 20140
Helena, MT 59620-1403
For more information on these requirements or if you want to apply for Prescriptive Authority, you can see the checklist provided by the Board.
Step #4: Maintain Your Montana CNM license
To keep practicing as a certified nurse-midwife in Montana, you must renew your license on or before December 31st of every even-numbered year.
To be eligible for renewal, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years.
Submission of proof of CE is not mandatory, but the board conducts random audits, and you must be able to show proof if you are selected.
The renewal fee is $50 for all APRN certification types.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Nurse-Midwife in Montana in 2023
What are the contents of the CNM exam in Montana?
The national certification exam consists of a combination of questions on the following topics:
|Antepartum||19% – 26%|
|Intrapartum||17% to 26%|
|Postpartum||15% to 18%|
|Gynecology||15% to 18%|
|Women’s health||8% to 16%|
|Newborn care||7% to 16%|
What happens if I fail the Montana Certified Nurse-Midwife exam the first time?
If you fail the CNM exam the first time, you can retake it three more times. There is a waiting period of 30 days between test attempts. However, you must wait at least 90 days from your 3rd time before retaking the exam the fourth time.
The exam retake fee is $350. You must apply for the exam with AMCB and schedule with PSI for each retake.
How much do Certified Nurse-Midwives make in Montana?
Nurse-midwives are rather well-paid in Montana. According to GraduateNursingEdu.org, most CNMs make around $114,000 per year – quite high considering Montana has a low cost of living.
In every profession, continuous learning is essential, and in healthcare, it is most critical.
To fulfill the work of a CNM, you must be ready to undergo years of training, a national certification exam, licensing processes, and continuing education.
But, at the end of the day, you will have a very fulfilling and professionally rewarding career.
So, if you are ready to take your career and education to the next level, follow our guide.
Just take things one at a time and you’ll be a CNM before you know it!