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Nurse Midwife Career Guide

Are you attentive, caring and resilient? Does the idea of bringing new life into the world excite you? If yes, then we think a career as a nurse midwife may be the one for you!

A nurse midwife is responsible for all things baby related! They work with women who are expecting babies and provide them with the care they need.

To become a nurse midwife you will need a bachelors degree in nursing, a registered nursing licence and a masters degree in midwifery.

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting time for families. Midwives are there every step of the way – so the career suits those with a passion for helping people.

Peter Carey

Nurse Midwife Career Ratings

Income

Career
Growth

Personal Growth

Contribution

Influence

Job Profiles

Real-Life Nurse Midwife Job Profiles

Below is a list of links to anonymous job profiles of REAL PEOPLE who have filled out our survey and offered to share their insights with our users about their job in the Nurse Midwife field.
ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33875 Homebirth Midwife Female 30 $70,000 Worcester, MA 01/01/2010

Overview

What a nurse midwife does

A nurse midwife is responsible for all things baby related! They work with women who are expecting babies, and their families, throughout pregnancy, labour and provide support in the aftermath. Nurse midwifes can work in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, the patients homes and more. Regardless of where they work, midwives can expect to have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Providing care to women throughout the pregnancy
  • Conducting gynecological exams
  • Writing care and birthing plans
  • Monitoring babies during labour
  • Advising and supporting parents about how to care for their new-borns
  • Providing emotional support for miscarriages, terminations, stillbirths and neonatal deaths

Why they are needed

In the United States, 250 babies are born every single minute! Thats more than 130 million a year!

As a result, midwives are incredibly necessary and important healthcare professionals. They play an instrumental role in ensuring that ladies, and their babies, receive the quality care they need. Without them, thousands of mothers and babies would experience traumatic childbirths.

Pros and cons of being a nurse midwife

Pros: 

  • Midwives constantly get to meet new people and guide them through the most exciting, and scary, experience of their life
  • Midwives will work as part of a team, which often provides a wonderful, supportive and cohesive working environment
  • Midwives can work in a variety of different settings
  • There is a vast range of development and progression opportunities
  • They assist mothers and fathers in delivering their child, making it an incredibly rewarding job

Cons: 

  • Babies are not born in typical business hours this therefore means that midwives are required to work around the clock
  • It can be a physically demanding job (midwives may be on their feet all day, lifting patients or bent over for long periods of time)
  • Sometimes things go wrong, which can be very challenging
  • It is a very physically demanding job as midwives are on their feet all day and have to lift heavy objects
  • There is a lot of responsibility, stress and pressure
  • Midwives are at risk as they are exposed to diseases and viruses

Employability

Job market

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nurse midwives is projected to grow 45 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. However, it is a small occupation, meaning that this fast employment growth actually only creates around 800 new jobs.

This growth is expected because the increasing population is creating a demand for healthcare services to help look after and advise expecting mothers.

Career paths

The career path to becoming a nurse midwife typically begins with a bachelors degree in nursing and achieving a registered nursing licence. However, in some circumstances, an associates degree in nursing and a registered nursing license may be enough to kickstart a career!

Nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses (ARPNs). Therefore, to become a nurse midwife, you must have at least a master’s degree from an accredited program. Masters degree programs include classroom education and clinical experience.

Graduate-level programs are also available for individuals who did not obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing but in a related health science field. These programs prepare the student for the RN licensure exam in addition to offering the APRN curriculum.

To further advance their career, nurse midwives may decide to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D. The specific educational requirements and qualifications for each of the roles are available on professional organizations’ websites.

Example Job Titles for Nurse Midwife

Below is a list of common job titles in the Nurse Midwife field. Click the links below for more information about these job titles, or view the next section for actual real-life job profiles.

Benefits & Conditions

Income and benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a nurse midwives in the United States was $105,030 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $82,460 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $184,180 per year.

The top industries were hospitals, where the median annual salary was $122,40. This is followed by outpatient care centers ($118,530), offices of physicians ($113,190), offices of other health practitioners ($112,590) and educational services ($108,790).

Autonomy and Flexibility

To begin with, nurse midwifes may have to closely follow the instructions of more senior healthcare professionals and may not have to most autonomy. However, as nurse midwives develop more skills and become more competent, they get more responsibility and their autonomy and flexibility increases. Often, they work up to being very senior members of healthcare teams and have a lot of autonomy.

Locations and commute

Although the job outlook for nurse midwives is considered very good, there is thought to be more competition for jobs in some areas, compared to others.

According to U.S News, the best states to be a nurse midwife, based on salary average annual salary are:

  1. California, where the average annual salary is $154,500
  2. Minnesota, where the average annual salary is $121,980
  3. New York, where the average annual salary is $120,380
  4. Mississippi, where the average annual salary is $119,640
  5. Maryland, where the average annual salary is $118,240

Work environment

The largest employers of nurse midwives in the United States were offices of physicians, which employed 47% of all nurse midwives. Hospitals employed 27% of all nurse midwives, outpatient carer centers employed 8%, educational services employed 4% and finally, offices of other health practitioners employed 3%.

Nurse midwives must be physically fit, as they may spend a lot of time walking, bending, stretching and standing and they are vulnerable to back injuries because they often must lift and move patients. If they work in the community, then nurse midwives may have to spend time travelling between clients.

Career Satisfaction

Common Matching Personality Types

Which personalities tend to succeed and thrive in Nurse Midwife careers? Based on our research, there is a relatively strong positive correlation between the following personality types and Nurse Midwife career satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many exceptions, of course, but if you fit into one of the following personality types then we suggest you give strong consideration to a career in Nurse Midwife.

16 Types (Myers-Briggs)

Big Five (OCEAN)

Enneagram

Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Personality types

One of the personality types that a nurse midwives are likely to be an ESFJ type. This is because they are gregariaous, warm, welcoming and highly organized. On top of this, ESFJ’s have a genuine interest in providing for others and taking care of them, which are important characteristics for a nurse midwives.

Accomplishment and mastery

Nurse midwives have to endure a lot of training in order to become qualified. When they become qualified, they will help women and babies every single day. They will continue to progress their skills throughout their career and, as a result, it is a career that offers a lot of accomplishment and mastery!

Meaning and contribution

Babies are born all the time. Therefore, there is high meaning and contribution of the work of a nurse as midwives. Without them, having children would be dangerous and life-threatening, as it is in many countries.

To further increase the sense of meaning and contribution, nurse midwives may decide to travel abroad and work in deprived areas, where medical care is lacking.

Life fit

Midwives who work in hospitals usually have to work in shifts, meaning they may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also have to be on call, which means that they are on duty and must be available to work on short notice. However, nurse midwives who work in services that do not provide 24-hour care are more likely to have regular business hours, giving a midwifery career in these areas a better life fit.

Who will thrive in this career?

There are a few key qualities that nurse midwives need, for example:

  • To be passionate about helping others
  • The ability to be empathetic and understanding
  • Enjoying social interactions and working in teams
  • Organized and diligence
  • Willingness to work long and often antisocial hours

Who will struggle in this career?

It goes without saying that those who don’t like blood or injury will struggle as a nurse midwife… it is not a career for the faint hearted! On top of this, those who prefer to work with little social interaction or who would rather work normal 9-5 hours are likely to find the job frustrating. Finally, those who aren’t physically fit enough to walk around all day may struggle as a nurse midwife.

Requirements

Skills and talents

As well as physical stamina, nurse midwives also need skills such as:

  • Written and verbal communication skills, as nurse midwives will have to keep patient records up to date and communicate clearly with their patients and coworkers
  • Attention to detail, as nurses must ensure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time
  • Organizational skills, as nurse midwives often work with multiple patients so will need the ability to coordinate numerous treatment plans
  • Critical thinking, as midwives need to come up with solutions to problems during labour, which can be highly stressful
  • Compassion and empathy, as nurse midwives must be caring and understanding when working with patients

Education

The career path to becoming a nurse midwife typically begins with a bachelors degree in nursing and achieving a registered nursing licence. However, in some circumstances, an associates degree in nursing and a registered nursing license may be enough to kickstart a career!

Nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses (ARPNs). Therefore, to become a nurse midwife, you must have at least a master’s degree from an accredited program. Masters degree programs include classroom education and clinical experience.

Graduate-level programs are also available for individuals who did not obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing but in a related health science field. These programs prepare the student for the RN licensure exam in addition to offering the APRN curriculum.

Certifications

As well as having a registered nursing license, nurse midwives may want to achieve certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board. Individuals with this designation must recertify via the Certificate Maintenance Program.

In addition, nurse midwife positions may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic life support (BLS), or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification.

How to Become

Summary

A nurse midwife is responsible for all things baby related! They work with women who are expecting babies and provide them with the care they need.

With the growing population, there will continue to be a demand for midwives. This will create many exciting job opportunities in a wide range of healthcare settings.

Immediate action

If becoming a nurse midwife sounds appealing to you, consider choosing high school diplomas in biology or anatomy. After this, decide which nursing programme you would like to take!

Education and learning

To become a nurse midwife you will need a bachelors degree in nursing and to achieve a registered nursing licence. However, in some circumstances, an associates degree in nursing and a registered nursing license may be enough to kickstart a career!

Nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses (ARPNs). Therefore, to become a nurse midwife, you must have at least a master’s degree from an accredited program. Masters degree programs include classroom education and clinical experience.

Skill development

Nurses midwives learn many of their skills on the job. In some states, they are required to continue their education and learning in order to maintain their license. They will also continue to develop their skills throughout their career as their knowledge and experience progresses.

FAQs

Ask a Question

Have a question about Nurse Midwife careers? If so, our mentors would love to help! Just click on a mentor’s profile below and then fill out the “Ask a Question” form on that page. Your question will then be emailed to the mentor, who can then email you a reply.

ID Job Title Gender Age Earnings City & State Date
33875 Homebirth Midwife Female 30 $70,000 Worcester, MA 01/01/2010

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