If you are a person who has always wanted to help women during their labor pain then being a Midwife is the perfect career path for you. You will be helping women who do not have any complications in their pregnancy. If you are excited about becoming a Midwife, this article will help you to know more about it and what the qualifications are that you need to become a midwife.
To become a midwife, you will need to gain a bachelor’s degree and get NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination). After it, you will need to clear the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to become a Midwife. Further, let us first discuss who exactly is a Midwife.
Who is a Midwife?
A midwife is a professional who helps women while giving birth to their children. Just like a doctor, as a midwife, you will be helping pregnant women during labor, and delivery and may also look after their kids after the mother gives birth to her kid.
You can be working at birthing centers, hospitals, or even at home. A midwife does not need to include a lot of medical knowledge; you will be only dealing with women who are healthy and do not have any complications within their pregnancy. However, despite complications, some women take help from them under the guidance of doctors.
What qualifications do you need to Become a Midwife?
To become a Midwife you will need to have qualifications and certifications. All of them are mentioned below in a similar manner you will be earning them-
Earn a bachelor’s degree
To become a midwife you need to earn your bachelor’s degree. You can earn your bachelor’s degree in science in nursing or an associate degree in nursing. These programs are important for you to become a registered nurse(RN).
Clear the NCLEX-RN Exam
When you will earn your bachelor’s or associate’s degree you will need to pass your NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) exam. It is a computer-based exam that involves questions based on different situations that a nurse may face during their practice time.
You will need this certificate to work legally as an RN. The test helps to evaluate your knowledge and skills for becoming a practicing nurse.
Gain the required experience
The next step after earning your degree is to earn the required experience that an RN will have. In most cases, you will need to have 1-year of experience for getting into medical school. You must take up some clinical experience, especially in the field of women’s health. It will help you to get into the graduation schools offering the related program.
Get the MSN or DNP degree which mainly focuses on the Midwifery program
Once you get your experience, you must start applying to the courses that are accelerated by the Acceleration commission for midwifery education(ACNE). You will mainly be taking the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become a certified midwife. These courses usually take 18 to 24 months depending on the university.
You can also take a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) which is for 3 – 4 years of study. To become a midwife you will be studying topics specifically related to prenatal or postnatal care, gynecology, pathophysiology, etc.
Take up the license
To finally start with the final practice as a midwife, you will need to take up the different certification exams. There are mainly three types of certifications that you can take up to finally start legal practices. You will need to pass one of the exams according to your choice to get the license. In most cases, the student takes up the CNM examination as it gives them permission to work in all 50 states.
Types of certifications needed for becoming the midwife
Following are the three types of certifications that you will need to have as a midwife-
1. Certified Nurse-midwives (CNMs)
If you have CNM, it means that you are a registered nurse and have graduated from the accredited nurse-midwifery education program. You can practice in all 50 states of the country along with the District of Columbia. This is computerized and has 175 questions.
2. Certified Midwives (CM)
This certification is for non-nurse midwives who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the health field. It means that you have completed the accredited midwifery program. Being a CM, not all the states will allow you to practice.
3. Certified professional midwives (CPMs)
They are again the non-nurses who have been trained in having clinical experience in childbirth which also involve helping with childbirth outside the hospital. Again not every state will allow you to practice if you have this certification.
Do you need GCSEs to be a midwife?
Yes, to get into a midwifery degree, you will need to have GCSEs in math, science, and English. You will need to have at least a C grade in your GCSEs.
Though what GCSE you should have depends on the requirements of the school you are applying to. In some schools, you may also need to have at least 5 GCSEs to enter the required degree.
How much time does it take to become a Midwife?
To become a midwife, you will need to have a degree which will take three years to complete. If you are already a registered nurse, you can take up even shorter courses. In half of your course, you will be learning the theory part and in the rest of the course, you will be doing the clinical practice.
How much does a midwife earn?
The average salary that a midwife earns during a year is between £34,000 to £38,000. Although it will depend upon your experience and in which state you are living. If you have experience of 6 months you can get between £25,655 – £31,534.
On the other hand, if you have more than 6 years of experience you can get between £54,764 – £65,664. Thus how much you make depends upon various factors.
Midwives are the professionals who help women during their labor pain and giving birth, and sometimes help them in taking care of their newborns. To become a midwife you need to have a bachelor’s degree in science in nursing or an associate degree in nursing. In addition to it, you will need to get the required certification for legally practicing in the country.
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