Are you passionate about childbirth, women’s health, and primary care?
If you are, and you are a nurse who is looking to upgrade your skills and take a step further in your career, then you might want to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM).
A CNM is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in gynecologic services, overall women’s health care, pregnancy, and family planning. Nurse-midwives typically work in hospitals and clinics, either collaboratively or independently.
But how do you become one?
This article will discuss how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Rhode Island.
We’ll take you through each step and answer some of your frequently asked questions.
So, if you find this interesting, keep reading.
How to Become a Nurse-Midwife in Rhode Island in 4 Steps
Before we proceed, we have a little reminder:
This article is for registered nurses (RNs) who want to get APRN licenses, specifically CNM licenses.
CMs or certified midwives are a different topic.
If you aren’t an RN yet but want to become a CNM, you must first work for a nursing license. You can refer to this simple but helpful guide on becoming an RN in Rhode Island.
Here are the steps to becoming a CNM:
- Step #1: Graduate with a Master’s Degree or Higher in Nurse-Midwifery
- Step #2: Pass the National Certification Exam for CNMs
- Step #3: Apply for Licensure with the Rhode Island Department of Health
- Step #4: Maintain Your Rhode Island CNM License
Step #1: Graduate with a Master’s Degree or Higher in Nurse-Midwifery.
To qualify for a CNM license, you must earn a master’s degree or higher from an ACME-accredited program.
ACME stands for Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.
It is an agency promoting excellence in nurse-midwifery by ensuring that programs provide high-quality education and learning experiences.
Unfortunately, there are currently no ACME-accredited programs in Rhode Island.
However, you can enroll in accredited programs in nearby states or take advantage of online programs.
Most program providers require:
- Transcripts from your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree
- An active RN license
- At least one year of experience as an RN
- Recommendation letters
- A minimum GRE or GPA score
- An admissions essay
CNM programs are made up of didactics and clinical exposure.
The didactic portion usually takes about 40-60 credit hours, while the clinical exposure is usually about 1,000 hours.
If you are taking an online program, you should ask which local institutions you can go to for your clinical exposure.
Step #2: Pass the National Certification Exam for CNMs
You must take and pass the national certification exam for CNMs within 24 months of graduating with a master’s degree in nursing-midwifery.
You won’t be eligible for a CNM license in Rhode Island if you are not nationally certified.
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) is the national body that regulates CNM certification.
The test covers the main topics in nurse-midwifery – Antepartum, Intrapartum, Postpartum, Women’s Primary Care, Gynecology, and Newborn Care.
It is composed of 175 multiple-choice questions which you are given a maximum of four hours to complete.
How to Apply
To sit for the exam, first, you must apply.
You can apply by mail by completing your application form and sending it to the American Midwifery Certification Board at the following address:
849 International Drive, Suite 120
Linthicum, MD 21090
Your program director will need to forward your transcripts directly to the AMCB.
If you prefer an online application, you can do so via the AMCB website.
Sign in to your account, go to the ‘CNM/CM Exam Applications’ portion, click ‘Create New Application’, and pay the exam fee of $500.
If you do not have an AMCB account yet, click the ‘Sign In’ button on the top right of your screen. Click ‘New Applicant’ and log in.
Once you receive confirmation that the AMCB has processed and approved your request, you can schedule your exam online or via the PSI hotline at 1-888-519-9901.
How to Schedule Your Exam
Click ‘Begin Scheduling’, choose ‘Healthcare, American Midwifery Certification Board’, and ‘Certified Nurse-Midwife/Certified Midwife Examination’ in the dropdowns in the following windows. Online scheduling is available 24 hours a day.
Click ‘Register for this Exam’, and sign in.
Upon passing the exam, AMCB will provide you with a certification number through your AMCB portal account.
Step #3: Apply for Licensure with the Rhode Island Department of Health
Now you are ready to apply for your licensure with the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Unlike other states, CNMs are regulated under the ‘Advisory Council on Midwifery’ of the Department of Health. They are not classified under ‘APRNs’.
Print the application form and other documents found here and mail your application to the following address:
Rhode Island Department of Health
Advisory Council on Midwifery
Room 103, 3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097
The requirements for licensure include:
- A completed application form
- Check or money order of $80.00, made payable to the RI General Treasurer and attached to the upper left-hand corner of the first (Top) page of the application.
- National Criminal Background check supported by fingerprints
- Official transcript from your CNM school submitted directly from your school to the Board. (Transcript must include date of completion, graduation date, and degree).
- Letter of certification directly from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)
- License verification(s) from the state(s) where you hold or have held a license (if you have ever been licensed in another state)
- If applying for expedited military status you must include one of the following: Leave Earning Statement (LES), Letter from Command, Copy of Orders or DD-214 showing honorable discharge.
If you want to dispense, prescribe, store, or order controlled substances, you have to apply for a Rhode Island Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) and a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registration.
You will need to complete the Rhode Island Uniform Controlled Substances Act Registration Form (CSR) and pay a $200 application fee.
Processing takes about eight weeks unless the applicant has a criminal or malpractice record.
Step #4: Maintain your Rhode Island CNM License
Upon receiving your license, you can start seeking employment as a nurse-midwife.
To keep your license current, renew it before October 31 of every odd-numbered year.
Renewal requirements are 20 hours of continuing education, which should include four hours in pharmacology.
Apart from your license, you must maintain your national certification with the AMCB every five-year renewal cycle.
To maintain your certification, you can either retake the CNM Examination or complete 20 hours of CE and three certificate maintenance modules.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Nurse-Midwife in Rhode Island in 2023
How long does it take to finish a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery in Rhode Island?
It may take two to four years or even more, depending on whether you’re a full-time or part-time student.
With full-time attendance, it will take about two years. On the other hand, if you take your MSN while having a part-time job, you will graduate in about four to five years.
What are the differences between a CNM and a CM?
CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives) and CMs (Certified Midwives) are confusing to some, and many people mistakenly use them interchangeably when they are quite different.
For one, CNMs are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, while CMs are non-nursing professionals.
Also, CMs or certified midwives are currently only recognized and licensed in a few states, including Rhode Island. CNMs, on the other hand, are recognized in all 50 states.
What happens if I fail the National Certification Exam for CNMs in Rhode Island?
If you fail the national certification exam on your first try, you can try again up to three more times. The interval between your first and second attempts is 30 days. You cannot retake the test at an earlier date.
The wait time between your subsequent attempts is 180 days. And the fee for each retake is $350.
How much does a CNM in Rhode Island make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNMs in Rhode Island earn a mean annual salary of $120,120.
However, your exact salary will depend on several factors, such as how many years of experience you have, what city you are in, etc.
Certified nurse-midwives have one of the best nursing jobs!
It is meaningful and rewarding.
As a CNM, you will be able to contribute to your community by providing women with the care and expertise they need throughout their lives.
Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife is not an easy path, however. But we hope this article can guide you on your journey.
If you follow our steps, you’ll become a CNM before you know it!
We wish you all the best on your journey to becoming a CNM in Rhode Island.