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

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Tennessee

Are you a registered nurse (RN) in Tennessee who wishes to expand your practice and discover greater career opportunities? 

Becoming a CNM might just be what you’re looking for! 

You’ll get to make a difference among women in different stages of their lives – and especially during pregnancy and childbirth. You’ll also get to handle newborns. 

It is certainly a very meaningful and rewarding career.

So, how do you become one?

Since nurse-midwifery is an advanced practice of nursing, you can expect that there are a lot of requirements. After all, you aren’t just dealing with basic nursing anymore.

But don’t worry! We’ll guide you through the whole process of how to become a nurse midwife (CNM) in Tennessee in 5 steps.

We’ll also answer a few FAQs afterward. 

Find out the necessary qualifications and how to become part of this rewarding profession by reading on.

Let’s dive right in!

How to Become a Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Tennessee in 5 Steps

There are generally five (5) simple steps to becoming a CNM in Tennessee: 

  • Step #1: Find Out Your Admissions Requirements
  • Step #2: Complete a Master’s Degree or Higher in Nurse-Midwifery
  • Step #3: Take the National Certification Examinations—and Pass
  • Step #4: Apply for APRN Licensure in Tennessee
  • Step #5: Renew Your License on Time

Here’s a closer look at each step.

Step #1: Find Out Your Admissions Requirements

CNMs are considered Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) so it’s expected that applicants to CNM programs have already covered the basics.

Before you can enroll in a CNM program, therefore, you have to have the following qualifications:

First and foremost, candidates must have an RN license and must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. 

If you want to find out how to become an RN in Tennessee, you can read this simple guide

In addition, most CNM programs will require that you have at least one year of experience working as an RN. So, after getting your RN license, try to find work as soon as possible.

Some schools may also require that potential students provide personal statements and references from former instructors to be admitted into a master’s program. 

Furthermore, many nursing-midwifery-based programs will also demand a minimum undergraduate GPA to make sure that applicants can handle advanced studies.

Depending on your school, there may be more requirements, but these are some of the basics.

If you can comply with these, then proceed to step #2.

Step #2: Complete a Master’s Degree or Higher in Nurse-Midwifery

Those who plan to become certified nurse-midwives in Tennessee must complete a master’s degree or higher (such as a doctorate) in nurse-midwifery. 

Furthermore, the program you choose must have been approved by the American Commission of Midwifery Education (ACME)

There are currently two accredited CNM schools in Tennessee, but you can also check out schools in nearby states or even those that offer online options. 

A master’s degree program in midwifery not only explores the role of midwifery care for pregnant women and their newborns but also provides advanced preparation for assessing and managing the health patterns of women throughout their lives. 

Students learn about wellness, the use of scientific evidence to inform practice, nursing research, and advanced pathophysiology as part of their coursework. 

Additionally, they become skilled in advanced health assessment, clinical pharmacology, providing primary care for women, health promotion across diverse cultures, and intrapartum, postpartum, and neonatal care. 

With a master’s degree in midwifery from an accredited college or university, future midwives are well-positioned to meet the needs of expecting mothers with confidence and expertise.

Here’s a short list of institutions that partner with CNM programs in Tennessee:

  • Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, Memphis
  • Erlanger Women’s East, Chattanooga
  • Memorial Ooltewah Women’s Center, Ooltewah
  • Tennessee Women’s Care, Hermitage
  • Women’s Hospital at Centennial, Nashville

Step #3: Take the National Certification Examinations—and Pass

Tennessee’s Board of Nursing requires applicants to take and pass the Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) exam, administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board. 

This examination is necessary for a prospective candidate to demonstrate their knowledge and skill to become a certified advanced practice nurse (APN). 

You can find all the information you need about the NCE in this handbook from the AMCB.

Those who have already completed a nurse-midwifery/women’s health program may opt to take the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) examination through the National Certification Corporation—in addition to the CNM examinations. 

Upon approval, candidates should proceed with registering for the exams through Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). 

Passing these examinations helps these advanced practice nurses safely provide care within their scope of practice.

It also serves as an assurance of their quality of work that may affect countless lives.

You can find AMP testing centers in the following locations: 

  • Chattanooga
  • Johnson City
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville

Step #4: Apply for APRN Licensure in Tennessee

Applying for APRN licensure after passing the national CNM exam is a critical step in becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. 

CNMs fall under the bigger category of APRNs in Tennessee. 

The application processes ensure that nurses have the specialized credentials needed to provide exceptional care to their patients.

You will need to:

  • Apply at and upload the following documents:
    • Current RN license – Tennessee RN license or RN multistate license from another compact state
    • Declaration of citizenship (complete and notarized)
    • Proof of citizenship
    • Other documents (if with a positive criminal history)
  • Request the following documents to be sent to
    • National certification from AMCB
    • Transcripts from nursing school 
  • Complete the mandatory practitioner profile questionnaire

Many also choose to gain a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner license together with their CNM license. If you do so, you will need to complete another APRN license application specific to this field of study.

Step #5: Renew Your License on Time

Renewing a certified nurse midwife (CNM) license on time in Tennessee is an important step in ensuring the continuing competency of practitioners. 

By adhering to the Certification Maintenance Program, as administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), CNMs will remain certified and qualified for practice. 

This program allows for flexibility, offering two different paths for renewal: 

Option 1: Requires completion of 3 AMCB Certificate Modules and 20 contact hours of approved continuing education units.

Option 2: Enables CNMs to retake the AMCB Certification Examination and pay a standard $500 examination fee. 

Ultimately, by renewing your license on time, you can maintain your professional standing and fulfill your obligation to offer high-quality midwifery care.

Aside from maintaining your national certification, you will also need to maintain your APRN license in Tennessee. 

If you want to read more about nursing CE requirements in Tennessee, you can read this guide

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CNM in Tennessee

How much do CNMs make in Tennessee?

According to, the average income of a CNM in Tennessee is around $107,100 annually. 

But salary ranges may differ depending on which city you’re working in and how much experience you have.

Make sure to do more research before applying to any institution. 

How often should CNMs in Tennessee renew their licenses?

CNMs need to renew their licenses every two years to keep practicing in their state and city.

How much does it cost to become a nurse midwife in Tennessee?

Becoming a nurse-midwife in Tennessee can be costly, with the average cost of programs estimated to be $500 per credit. 

Depending on the university and type of program required, this cost can vary widely. 

For example, one university offers an MSN for $34,240 and an MSN and DNP combination for $43,335.

In some cases, bridge programs may be more affordable and offer a faster route to becoming a CNM. 

It is important to research all options before enrolling in any program to ensure that you are getting the best value.


Becoming a CNM in Tennessee can be both professionally and personally rewarding, but the process of becoming one may seem daunting at first. 

With guidance, however, you can confidently take the necessary steps to achieve your goal and get licensed. 

We hope our guide has been helpful in mapping out what you need to do next on your journey to become a CNM. 

We have more information on how to become a nurse in your state on our blog. Scroll through our collection of articles to get more details. 

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