For most people, becoming a midwife requires both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in nursing or women’s health. However, there are some ways to become a midwife without going through the whole process of getting an undergraduate nursing degree first:
Decide what kind of midwife you want to become
Before you start your midwifery training, it’s important to understand the difference between different types of midwives. The two main categories are nurse-midwife and family nurse practitioner. They’re similar in that they both perform prenatal and postpartum care, but they differ in their education and licensing requirements:
- CNM – This stands for certified nurse-midwife (also known as clinical midwife). To become one, you must first earn at least an associate degree from a certified program followed by three years of supervised clinical experience. You also need to pass national exams and be licensed by your state board of nursing or medical examiners’ office.
- CNM-N – This stands for certified nurse-midwife – nonnurse practitioner—which is essentially just like the above except there’s no requirement for previous nursing experience; instead, you have to complete a master’s degree program before beginning clinical practice under supervision from another registered midwife or physician until certification can be received after passing a national exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
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Get your high school diploma or GED
If you don’t have a high school diploma or GED, the first step is to get one. You can do this at a community college, or through an online program. In some states, it’s possible to take the GED test without tests like ACT and SAT scores if you’re over 18 years old. Once you’ve got your high school diploma or GED and are ready to move on with your education, check out our list of schools with top-notch programs that train future midwives.
Consider getting your CNA certification
To become a CNA, you need to meet the following requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass an approved test from the state in which you live. A list of these tests can be found here.
You can also take classes in your area to prepare for the certification exam. This will help you prepare for the test and give you an idea of what it will be like when it comes time to take it!
Start taking college classes
Now that you’ve decided to become a midwife without a nursing degree, it’s time to start taking classes. You’ll want to take courses in biology, anatomy and physiology. Nursing classes are also important for understanding how maternity care is practiced in different parts of the world.
You should also take coursework in sociology and psychology so you can understand what patients are going through when they come into your office for help. Business courses will help you understand financial issues like billing insurance companies or setting up your own practice; economics classes will teach you about supply-and-demand curves; public health studies will teach you about sanitary conditions in hospitals around the world; anthropology and sociology courses will help give context on how culture affects birth practices (and vice versa); genetics information might be useful if there are certain medical conditions prevalent among specific populations (for example, Down syndrome). The most important thing is that each student takes whatever makes sense given their interests.
Pass the National Certification Examination for Nurse-Midwives/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners.
The NCLEX-RN is one of the most widely recognized and respected exams in the nursing field. It’s used to measure a candidate’s ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients across a wide range of health care settings.
The exam consists of more than 400 questions that test your knowledge on topics such as basic nursing skills, medication administration and safety protocols. You have 5 hours to complete it!
To pass this test, you’ll need to know everything from administering basic medications like insulin injections to recognizing signs of anaphylaxis—an allergic reaction that can be deadly if left untreated.
You don’t need any specific background in order to enroll in an NCLEX preparation course—the only requirement is that you must be at least 18 years old when registering for the exam (or within six months of turning 18). The price varies based on where exactly you want take your exam: it can cost anywhere between $200-$250 at local testing centers or up over $300 if done remotely through Pearson Vue or Prometric Testing Centers
There are many different ways to get the education and experience necessary to become a certified nurse midwife (CNM).
If you’re considering becoming a nurse midwife, it’s important to understand that you don’t need a nursing degree. Nurse midwifery is a licensed profession and the nurse midwife is the primary care provider for the woman and her family throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum period.
While there are many different ways to get the education and experience necessary to become a certified nurse midwife (CNM), some people choose not to pursue certification but still provide care in their communities as an apprentice or lay midwife.
We hope we’ve given you a clearer idea of what steps you need to take to become a midwife. Good luck on your journey, and remember: once you’re an expert in all things baby, don’t forget that babies grow up into children—and children grow up into adults!