photo by Raven Ivory

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are licensed healthcare practitioners educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. They provide primary healthcare to women of childbearing age including: prenatal care, labor and delivery care, care after birth, gynecological exams, newborn care, assistance with family planning decisions, preconception care, menopausal management and counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention.

CNMs must complete a graduate level education program that is nationally accredited, must pass a rigorous national certification exam, and in Minnesota, CNMs must maintain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Nurse-midwives practice in public clinics, hospitals, birth centers, homes, and private practices. The heart of midwifery care is the philosophy that pregnancy, birth, and transitions through life’s stages are normal events. Midwifery care focuses on safe, personalized, and evidence-based care with an emphasis on the woman as an active partner in her own health.

  • Certified nurse-midwives have been practicing in Minnesota since 1971 with the first midwifery practice established at Hennepin County Medical Center in 1975
  • There are approximately 262 CNMs currently practicing in Minnesota
  • Minnesota has 123 Nurse-Midwifery Services
  • In 2013, Minnesota CNMs attended over 7,500 births which is 11% of all births in MN for that year
  • MN legislation mandates third-party reimbursement for nurse-midwifery care, provides for joint underwriting authority for CNM malpractice insurance, and gives CNMs autonomous practice, including prescription writing privileges