Midwives have long been the preferred birth assistant for numerous women throughout history. This valued medical professional — today known as a certified nurse midwife (CNM) — encompasses a surprisingly diverse set of duties and expectations. Here are five that might be surprising:

  1. Certified nurse midwives have duties that go far beyond delivering babies. As an advanced practice nurse, a certified nurse midwife often engages in other care aspects of their patients including primary care and reproductive care.

  2. The majority of births attended by certified nurse midwives — over 94 percent according to 2014 data from the National Center for Health Statistics — occurred in hospitals.

  3. 332,107: This is the number of births attended by certified nurse midwives during 2014. This figure denotes a slight increase in the numbers for 2013 as well as a continued upward trajectory.
  4. Most certified nurse midwives — about 82 percent — hold master’s degrees. Since 2010, this has been a requirement for entry into the field of midwifery.

  5. Of all categories of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), certified nurse midwives hold the most doctoral degrees. Nearly five percent of all certified nurse midwives have had the additional education necessary in order to obtain the title of “Doctor.”

The Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (OAAPN) provides education and resources for nurses of all specialties, including certified nurse midwives. Contact them today for more information and valuable resources.