Looking to become a Certified Nurse Midwife in Pennsylvania?
Don’t know where to start?
The nurse-midwifery field allows you to hone in on providing care to women in different life stages, especially during their childbearing years.
You will get to help women before, during, and after delivery, as well as provide care for the newborns.
It is a rewarding and meaningful career. Plus, you get higher pay and more job stability.
However, the process of getting certified can get tricky with multiple hoops to jump through before you can start.
Don’t worry, though!
We’ve compiled an easy guide to help you become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Pennsylvania.
We’ll also answer relevant FAQs.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in!
How to Become a CNM in Pennsylvania in 4 Steps
Here’s a brief rundown of all the steps you’ll need to go through to get registered in Pennsylvania:
Step #1: Meet All the Prerequisites
Step #2: Take a Master’s Degree in Nurse-Midwifery
Step #3: Pass the National Nurse-Midwife Certification Examination
Step #4: Apply for CNM Licensure with the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine
Let’s take a closer look at each stage down below.
How to Become a CNM in Pennsylvania Step #1: Meet All the Prerequisites
Nurse-midwifery is a specialized field of nursing that focuses on pre-and postnatal care.
This means you can’t just jump into becoming a CNM without gaining some foundational knowledge and skills first.
It is a prerequisite, therefore, to be a Registered Nurse (RN).
Most CNM programs even require that you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing rather than just an associate’s degree since the training is more intensive and thorough.
Some schools may still accept ADNs, but some may require that you take a bridge program or some extra courses to fill in the gap.
For more information on how to become an RN in Pennsylvania, you can read this simple guide.
How to Become a CNM in Pennsylvania Step #2: Take a Master’s Degree in Nurse-Midwifery
If you’ve already got an RN license and are itching for greater specialization in maternal care, then the next step is to take a Master’s Degree (or higher) in Nurse-Midwifery.
The program you choose should be accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) for you to qualify for certification.
Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, there are 2 accredited CNM programs. Both are located in Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania and Midwifery Institute at Jefferson). Currently, there is also a pre-accredited doctoral degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
Most CNM schools offer online options for the coursework and affiliate with local health institutions for the compliance of your clinical hours.
Students can usually complete an MSN degree in 2 years if they’re doing it full-time.
However, if you’re looking to manage part-time work on the side, then there is the option of studying part-time. This will extend the length of your study to about 4-5 years depending on how fast you can go.
Some examples of areas you’ll be learning are
- Prenatal care
- Monitoring of physical and emotional health during pregnancy
- Creation of a birth plan
- Family Crisis Care
- Midwifery Care During Labor
How to Become a CNM in Pennsylvania Step #3: Pass the National Nurse-Midwife Certification Examination
After completing your Master’s Degree in Nurse-Midwifery, the next step is to sit for the final National Nurse-Midwife Certification Examination.
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) is in charge of managing the Nurse-Midwifery examinations across the US. The Board also recognizes the certifying examinations of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the ACNM Certification Council, Inc. (ACC).
If you intend to take the AMCB exam, you’ll need to fill out this application form and mail it to the address below to kickstart the process,
849 International Drive, Suite 120
Linthicum, MD 21090
However, it’s more convenient to start the process through AMCB’s online applications.
In Pennsylvania, the exam is conducted at multiple locations including Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
For the AMCB exam, you’ll have to complete 175 MCQs. You have a maximum of 4 hours to complete the exam.
The different areas that will be tested include:
- Antepartum – 21%
- Intrapartum – 21%
- Postpartum – 18%
- Newborn – 10%
- Well Woman/Gyn – 19%
- Women’s Health/Primary care – 11%
If you’re looking for more information regarding the examination processes and exam day guidelines, then you can consult the AMCB Certification Exam Candidate Handbook.
If you pass the exam, you will become a nationally certified nurse midwife!
How to Become a CNM in Pennsylvania Step #4: Apply for CNM Licensure with the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine
After completing the examination, the last step entails applying for your CNM license through the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine.
This involves filling out the application form and mailing it, along with all the required documents, to the following address.
State Board of Medicine
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
You can also apply online.
Aside from your RN license, your approved nurse-midwifery education, and your national certification, you will need to complete 3 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting for initial licensure.
You’ll also have to pay a fee of $50 for the process.
For more information regarding the application process, consult the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine website.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNM in Pennsylvania
What does a CNM do?
A CNM is a healthcare practitioner who has been certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to work as a Nurse-Midwife and offer specialized maternal care.
However, CNMs deal with mostly normal cases of pregnancy, delivery, and neonatal health. They do not handle surgical procedures.
They provide antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, and non-surgically related gynecological care.
How much does the CNM test cost in Pennsylvania?
The CNM examination is handled by the AMCB and costs $500. The re-examination fee is lower though at $350.
You’ll also have to pay a processing fee of $121, with a separate application fee of $50 in Pennsylvania.
How much does a CNM make annually in Pennsylvania?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a CNM can expect to make anywhere from $81,000 to over $146,000 annually in Pennsylvania. The mean annual wage is $113, 580.
How long will it take to become a CNM in Pennsylvania?
The Master’s program will take around 2 years if done full-time.
However considering the whole process, involving examinations and application forms may mean an extra 6 months to a year to get fully licensed.
If you include the time it takes to become an RN, then the whole process could take around 6-8 years.
So there you have it! A quick guide on how you can get certified as a Nurse Midwife in Pennsylvania.
While the process may be a bit longer compared to other nursing pathways, the higher compensation and job stability make it a worthwhile career path.
This is especially true if you are passionate about providing care for women before, during, and after delivery, as well as for their newborn child.
We hope this article helps you on your journey!
If ever you feel overwhelmed, just remember to take it one step at a time and enjoy the process.