With so many abbreviations surrounding the midwife field on nursing, you can easily get confused.
Remember, midwives are in charge of prenatal, labor, delivery, and postnatal care.
The differences between Certified Midwife – CM, Certified Nurse Midwife – CNM and Certified Professional Midwife – CPM is education and job responsibilities.
Certified Midwife (CM)
A nurse who gets his or her certificate on the American Midwifery Certification Board is a Certified Midwife.
It means that he or she has completed the undergraduate degree and took other health and science programs as an obligatory part of their Midwifery educational training.
Bear in mind, that you don’t have to have a college degree to become a CM.
Instead, you can attend the training program.
The scope of practice of Certified Midwife focuses on providing primary healthcare to women, starting from adolescence, and including all processes until menopause.
It includes family planning, prenatal, childbirth, post-partum health care.
However, the CM scope of practice also includes STI prevention and treatment, as well as counseling services.
CMs work in all clinical settings, such as birth centers, hospitals, home care, and offices
CMs focuses on birth care work often in hospitals.
Only in certain states, CMs are allowed to prescribe medications and obtain licensure.
However, getting a license in some states doesn’t mean that it will be valid in other states.
Certified Nurse Midwife – CNM
The American Midwifery Certification Board – AMCB regulates the certification of Certified Nurse-Midwives.
The major difference between CM and CNM is in education.
A CNM has completed an undergraduate program and holds the RN license,
CNMs like CMs need to complete the Midwifery program.
The scope of practice for CNM is similar to the scope of practice of CM.
They also work in hospitals and attend births.
Another significant difference between CM and CNM is the difference between the legal ability to prescribe medications.
CNM are allowed to prescribe medicine in all states.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
To enter the Midwifery program for the Certified Professional Midwives you will have to have a high school diploma and to demonstrate skill and knowledge in specific areas.
There are several programs you can complete to become a CPM.
Every program includes a health and science course, professional experience in assisting during childbirth, and sometimes, doula certification.
This certificate is administered via the North American Registry of Midwives’ – NARM.
The scope of practice for CPMs is more narrow than other categories of midwives.
It includes prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum care, with additional 6-8 weeks of proving health care mother and baby after the delivery.
CPMs work in birth centers, offices and assist during a home delivery.
Also, CPMs are not allowed to prescribe medicine in any state.
However, some states do allow CPMs to attend additional education and medication administration.
CPMs in around half of the states can obtain licensure.
The institution which administers and regulates the licensure process is different in every state.