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

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Oregon

Each year, more women are turning to nurse-midwives for gentler, mother-centered care during childbirth. 

This steady increase in demand for midwives has created more opportunities for CNMs across the country.

The fact that insurance companies recognize nurse-midwifery care is another reason for the increase in demand.

This is very evident in Oregon since it is one of the top 5 states that has the most nurse-midwife-attended births. This makes it a great place for aspiring CNMs to work. 

So, if you are thinking about becoming a CNM, you’re in the right place! 

Today, we’re going to give you a simple step-by-step guide on how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Oregon.

We’ll also answer a few frequently asked questions. 

Keep reading to learn more!

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

An aspiring midwife can’t simply enroll in a nursing-midwifery program. Generally, CNM programs require applicants to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have a registered nursing (RN) license. 

If you are not yet an RN, you can read up on how to become an RN in Oregon

Already have your RN license? Great! 

Here are the steps you need to take to become a CNM in Oregon:

  • Step #1: Enroll in a Nurse-Midwife Program
  • Step #2: Become Nationally Certified 
  • Step #3: Apply for Your License in Oregon 
  • Step #4: Start Your Career and Keep Your License Active 

Step #1: Enroll in a Nurse-Midwife Program

To qualify for an APRN license as a Nurse-Midwife Nurse Practitioner (NMNP) in Oregon, an applicant must complete a master’s degree or higher in nurse-midwifery.

The nurse-midwifery program must be approved by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).

Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland is the only ACME-accredited program in Oregon as of now. 

If enrolling face-to-face is difficult for you, you can also choose to enroll in an online program.

Generally, a program consists of 40-60 semester credit hours and about 1,000 hours of clinical work. 

General requirements to enroll in a midwifery program:

Each school will have its own set of requirements for admission, but here are some of the most common ones: 

  • Current RN license
  • At least one year of RN experience 
  • BSN or other relevant completed nursing prerequisite programs
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE General Test
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal essay (written or video) or statement of purpose

Once you’ve completed your studies, it’s time to move to the next step!

Step #2: Become Nationally Certified

Once you finish your CNM program, your next step is to get certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

To become nationally certified by the AMCB, you will need to pass the certifying exam.

So what topics are covered in the CNM licensure exam?

  • Antepartum – 19-26%
  • Intrapartum – 17-26%
  • Postpartum – 15-18%
  • Gynecology – 15-18%
  • Women’s Health and Primary Care – 8-16%
  • Newborn – 7-16%

The exam consists of 175 items in multiple-choice format. You are given a maximum of 4 hours to answer everything.

For more details, check out the CNM Candidate Handbook.

Ready to schedule your exam? 

All you have to do is register with Applied Measurement Professional (APM) for your exam date and venue.

APM typically proctors CNM exams in the following cities in Oregon:

  • Bandon
  • Eugene
  • Klamath Falls
  • Portland
  • Medford
  • Salem

You can also apply for the National Certification Examination in Nurse-Midwifery by sending a completed application form to:


849 International Drive, Suite 120

Linthicum, MD 21090

If you pass the licensure exam, you will receive a Certificate in Nurse Midwifery (CNM) from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

Step #3: Apply for Your License in Oregon

Got your national certification? Awesome! Now it’s time to apply for your license. 

To get your CNM license in Oregon, you will pass a completed application packet for an Advanced Practice License as a Nurse Midwife-Nurse Practitioner (NMNP).

Nurse midwives in Oregon fall under the category of nurse practitioners (NPs). 

You are to send the completed application to:

Oregon State Board of Nursing

17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road

Portland, OR 97224

The requirements for application include:

  • A completed application form
  • An unencumbered RN license in Oregon 
  • Transcripts from your ACME-accredited program
  • Evidence of having concepts in advanced health assessment, advanced physiology and pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology in your CNM education
  • Verification of national certification from AMCB
  • Proof of active Oregon RN licensure
  • If you graduated from your CNM program more than 2 years ago, then you have to show proof of 400 hours of active practice as a CNM within the past 2 years 

Since you are considered a nurse practitioner, you need to apply for prescriptive privilege (PP) unless you request an exception. 

You can apply by complying with any of the following:

  • Completion of 45 contact hours of advanced pharmacology concepts in your CNM program (if you are applying within 2 years after your graduation)
  • Completion of a 30-hour discrete pharmacology course and an additional 15 contact hours in pharmacological management for a total of 45 contact hours
  • Having current prescriptive privilege in another state or U.S. jurisdiction
  • Completion of required clinical education in pharmacological management, such as:
    • A directly supervised clinical practicum of 150 hours or more which includes differential diagnosis and applied pharmacological management of patients 
    • Evidence of unencumbered PP in another state or U.S. jurisdiction with a minimum of 150 hours using applied pharmacological management of patients
    • Validation of prescribing competencies by a licensed independent prescribing practitioner that demonstrates 150 hours of the applicant’s knowledge and application of pharmacological management of patients. 

You can also obtain dispensing privileges by applying to the Board. 

It usually takes the Board about three (3) weeks to fully process your application. So get ready to wait for a few days!

For more information on the application process, you can go here

Step #4: Start Your Career and Keep Your License Active

Once you receive confirmation that your application has been processed, you may check the status of your license on the Oregon State Board of Nursing’s online license verification system

If you see that your license has been approved and activated, you’re ready to start your career as a CNM in Oregon! 

But don’t forget to renew your license and keep it current so that you can continue practicing as a CNM without interruption. 

For more information on the CE requirements in Oregon needed for the renewal of your licenses, you can read this article

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Oregon

Now that you know how to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife in Oregon, we’re going to tackle a few frequently asked questions to help you out!

How long are CNM programs?

If you already have your RN license, you will only spend about 2-3 years to complete your midwifery program.

If you still have to take your Bachelor’s in Nursing, you need about 8 years to complete both your Bachelor’s and your midwifery program.

How many items are in the CNM licensure exams in Oregon?

The midwifery board exam consists of 175 questions. You will need to score at least 75% overall, with a grade of no less than 50% in any of the covered subjects.

Is it hard to become a CNM in the State of Oregon?

Yes, it is. Not only are midwifery courses physically and mentally demanding, but it is also a highly competitive industry. But if you are up to the challenge, it is a very rewarding and meaningful career. 

How do you maintain your CNM National Certification?

To keep your national certification in midwifery, you will need to enroll in AMCB’s Certificate Maintenance Program

In this program, you will have to:

  • Take a re-examination 
  • Complete 20 hours of continuing education
  • Complete three certificate maintenance modules

How much do CNMs in Oregon earn?

CNMs in Oregon earn one of the highest salaries with a mean annual salary of $136,150. Oregon is the 5th top-paying state for CNMs. 

You can find this table on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Oregon


And there you have it! These are all the steps to take to qualify for a nurse-midwife license in the state of Oregon.

We know becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife seems like a long process, but it’ll be all worth the hassle in the end. 

The midwifery field is one of the best industries to be in right now! And the sooner you start, the faster you can get started in your career.

Feel free to come back to this list as much as you need!

Do you have more questions and concerns about becoming a CNM in Oregon? Let us know in the comments section below.

Best of luck!

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