A Complete Guide on How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in South Carolina

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in South Carolina

Planning to become a nurse midwife in South Carolina?

You’re going to want to hear this: Nurse midwives are in demand in South Carolina simply because they can give the pre-, intra-, and post-birth care that a lot of mothers are looking for. 

So if you’re planning to advance your nursing career, this path is a good option! 

But how do you become a nurse midwife?

Don’t worry! We’re here to guide you with that. 

In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in South Carolina – we even added an FAQ section! 

So if you’re ready to start this journey, let’s get right to it. 

How to Become a Certified Nurse Midwife in South Carolina in 4 Steps

A nurse midwife, also known as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in South Carolina, has to do these things to become licensed:

  • Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse
  • Step #2: Complete a Certified Nurse Midwife Program
  • Step #3: Take the National Certification Exam
  • Step #4: Apply for a CNM License in South Carolina

If you’re already an RN, the journey is shorter. But if you’re starting from scratch, then it will take you a while. 

Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse

The first step to becoming a CNM is to become a Registered Nurse (RN) first. 

(If you’re already a registered nurse, you can start with Step 2.)

To be an RN in South Carolina, you need to follow these steps: 

  • Complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Apply for an RN License
  • Pass the NCLEX
  • Complete a Criminal Background Check

Becoming an RN: Completing Required Education

If you’re not an RN yet, the very first step is to decide whether you will take an ADN or a BSN. An ADN is a two-year program that teaches you basic medical procedures, chart monitoring and filing, and patient care. 

On the other hand, a BSN program is a four-year course that covers all the ADN courses plus training in evidence-based research. It also provides a more in-depth approach because of the longer period of study. 

While a BSN is ideal, the primary downside of this program is the length of time and the cost of taking it. Nonetheless, BSN graduates can pursue more career opportunities and specialties in the nursing sector. 

Becoming an RN: Applying for a License

When you complete your RN program, you can already apply for a license at South Carolina’s Nursing Portal. But to make the process faster, best to print and fill up this application form

The application form also includes a list of required documents. It’s best to prepare these beforehand for a smooth transaction online. 

Becoming an RN: Passing the NCLEX

Probably the most difficult part of the RN journey is taking the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a nationwide licensure exam that you have to schedule through Pearson Vue

Create an account at this website and register for an NCLEX schedule. You will also be required to pay the exam fee of $200. 

Becoming an RN: Completing a Criminal Background Check

The final step is to complete a background check. If you have completed your application online, South Carolina’s Labor Licensing Regulation Board will email you instructions on how to get your fingerprints scanned. 

For a more detailed guide on how to become an RN ‘in South Carolina, you can check this out

Step #2: Complete a Certified Nurse Midwife Program

Since a CNM is a type of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, you need to complete additional education requirements to apply for a license. 

Just like becoming an RN, you have two program choices – a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. 

An MSN degree trains and teaches you to handle and care for many illnesses. It also trains you in both administrative and leadership roles. 

On the other hand, a DNP is a more specialized track focusing on research and data analysis of diseases. 

But whichever you choose, just make sure it is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Midwifery Education (ACME). 

Unfortunately, there are no accredited CNM programs in South Dakota. 

So, if you want to attend classes face to face, you can enroll in a nearby state that offers an accredited program.

Another option is to enroll in an online program – either fully online or hybrid. 

These programs usually partner with local institutions in your area so that you can still fulfill the required clinical hours. Most CNM programs require at least 1,000 hours of clinical work. 

Step #3: Take the National Certification Exam

The second to the last step is, of course, taking your certification exam. 

The exam consists of 175 multiple-choice items covering topics on: 

  • Antepartum 
  • Intrapartum 
  • Postpartum
  • Gynecology
  • Women’s health and primary care 
  • Newborn 

You have to register at the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) for your exam. 

Here’s how to schedule an exam: 

  • Go to the AMCB website.
  • Sign up to create an account. 
  • Fill up the application form. 
  • Pay for the exam. 
  • In your email, click the link to confirm your exam payment and schedule your exam. 

Now it’s up to you to pass it!

Thankfully, the AMCB offers a lot of information about the exam so that you can enter it fully-equipped. 

You can use this handbook to prepare for your exams.

Step #4: Apply for a CNM License in South Carolina 

You’re one step closer to becoming a CNM! 

To get your license, you have to apply to the South Carolina License Labor Licensing Regulation, Board of Nursing:

  • Print and fill up this application form. Attach a recent 2×2 photo on the form.
  • Send proof of your valid SC RN license. 
  • Request the school where you took an MSN or DNP to send your transcript of records to the SC LLR. 
  • Submit a copy of your national certification from the AMCB. 
  • Complete the criminal background check process.
  • Obtain all SC Physician signatures and license numbers that apply to your application.
  • Complete the separate prescriptive authority application, if applicable.
  • Complete the notarized affidavit form and verification of lawful presence in the U.S. form
  • Attach a check or money order addressed to the LLR Board of Nursing. 

Upload or mail all the documents and payments to the SC LLR Board of Nursing. 

All you have to do now is wait for your license to be granted! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife in South Carolina

We know you have more questions, so here are quick FAQs to help you out!

How long is the Nurse Midwife application?

If you’re including the training to become an RN, expect to prepare for at least 6 years (if you’re taking a four-year BSN course). The other two years would be for your Master’s. 

If you opt to take a doctorate, you have to allot another 2-4 years in education. 

Can you take an MSN or DNP online?

Yes, you can complete your Master’s Degree online. However, DNP programs require that you attend in-person classes because of the nature of the curriculum. 

How much is the APRN exam?

The examination fee is $500. If you need to reschedule, you have to pay another fee.

How much do CNMs in South Carolina earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNMs in South Carolina earn a mean annual salary of $88, 680.

Several factors affect your salary, such as years of experience, personal credentials, location, institution, etc. 


With such a long process, you might be asking yourself, is it still worth it?

Well, this will depend on you, but one thing’s for sure – nurse midwives are in demand in South Carolina. 

If you are passionate about this career path and about giving care to women in general, moms-to-be, and newborns – then it will be worth it. 

With our guide, you can strategize how to achieve your goal. You won’t lose direction or be taken by surprise. 

We’re rooting for the time that you will be a Certified Nurse Midwife! 

Good luck! 

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