Frequently Asked Questions
From a global health perspective, more babies are born into the hands of midwives than any other provider. In addition to care during labor and birth, midwives also provide reproductive and family health care across the lifespan.
The definition of a midwife according to the International Confederation of Midwives is:
A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education program that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; and is recognized in the country where it is located; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title ‘midwife’; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.
A qualified lead preceptor is a Certified Midwife or Certified Nurse-Midwife who is nationally certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) and has an active license in the state in which s/he practices. CNM/CMs have the scope of practice for which our students are being educated. See the ACNMs Core Competencies. Many other types of providers are used to augment rotations. We also support inter-professional practice and learnings. Other types of qualified health care providers may provide components of your education.
What is the difference between a Certified Midwife/Certified Nurse Midwife (CM/CNM) and a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?
There are multiple paths to becoming a midwife. At The Midwifery Institute, the faculty have respect for all midwives regardless of one’s path and credentials but we believe that it is equally important to have a basic understanding of the differences in educational requirements and scope of practice. CM/CNMs attend schools accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and are certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). CPMs are either trained through the apprenticeship model known as the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) or attend schools of midwifery of which many are accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). CPMs are then certified through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CM/CNMs predominantly practice in the hospital setting with some practicing in birth center and home settings and CPMs predominantly practice in homes or birth centers.
Yes, students may have more than one clinical preceptor for four primary reasons.
- The student is working with a group of midwives that are all part of the same practice.
- The student desires experience in more than one setting.
- The student has secured one clinical site but it is a low volume site and another will be needed to meet the minimum required numbers.
- The student has secured one site for ambulatory care clinical and another for full scope care clinical.
Yes, students may attend births at home and at accredited free standing birth centers with a qualified preceptor and insurance that meets the university's requirements.
I have a bachelor's degree from a non-accredited school. Can I apply to the Midwifery & Women's Health Program?
Your undergraduate degree must have been earned at an accredited institution. If you are unsure if your degree was completed at an accredited school, please contact an admissions representative who will be happy to assist you.
Thomas Jefferson University offers several Accelerated Bachelor's completion options for interested applicants who currently hold an associate’s degree. Currently this program is not available at a distance but this option is being developed.
Can I become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) upon graduation from the Midwifery & Women's Health Program?
Yes, students who attend a minimum of 10 home or birth center births as a student midwife and earn the credential CNM or CM are eligible to sit the North American Registry of Midwives examination to earn the CPM credential.
*** Learn where licensing is available. Some states may have additional requirements. Be sure to contact your state licensing board for specifics.
Applicants to The Midwifery Institute must be either Registered Nurses (RNs) or have completed the prerequisite courses and the three CM pathway courses. All applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. There are a number of on-line programs that offer LPN/LVN to RN programs and RN to BSN programs as well.
I would like to be a CM but I am not a nurse. Does Jefferson have an accelerated program? Can I apply to the program while finishing my prerequisites or nursing school?
Yes, you can apply for dual admission into Jefferson College of Nursing FACT (Full-time accelerated coursework tract) and Midwifery Programs. We encourage students to apply during their final semester of nursing school or prerequisite courses. Nursing students who will be bypassing the CM pathway will need to take the NCLEX while enrolled in prerequisite courses. Recent nursing school graduates will need to take the NCLEX prior to the start of classes. All prereqs must be completed within 10 years of application.
Yes, you may still apply. Each application is evaluated individually. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are required to write an additional paragraph providing details or circumstances that demonstrate why they are a strong candidate for Midwifery. This may help your overall application appear stronger and show the admissions committee that you are ready for graduate level work.
I am a midwife who was educated in another country and I would like to practice in the United States. Do I need to go back to school?
You will require further education as the scope of practice of midwives is broader here in the United States. Please refer to the ACNM’s information page and links for Midwives Educated Abroad. You must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in order to apply so you will need to have your foreign education and credentials evaluated by a National Association of Credentials Evaluations Services (NACES) member agency such as World Education Services (WES) or The Commission on Graduates from Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Global resource information is available here. Be sure to have ALL of your previous education evaluated, not only your midwifery education.
I am a CM/CNM interested in a doctoral degree. Does the Midwifery & Women's Health Program offer this option?
The Midwifery & Women’s Health Programs at Jefferson offers a doctorate in midwifery. This professional practice doctorate is discipline specific while preparing midwives to lead in multidisciplinary settings such as quality improvement, clinical practice, administration, and policy/advocacy. This is a professional practice doctorate created in line with the profession’s competencies for doctoral level in midwifery.
Students may enter the doctorate program post-professionally as a midwife with a Master’s degree, or may seek dual-admission to the Master/Post-graduate certificate program in Midwifery and the Doctor of Midwifery.
Can I apply for dual admission to the Midwifery (MS or post-graduate certificate) and Doctoral degree programs?
Yes! Applicants interested in becoming a CM or CNM with a Doctorate in Midwifery can apply for the masters or post-graduate certificate program and the doctoral program at the same time. A combined plan of study reduces the total credits and shortens the time to becoming a Doctor of Midwifery when compared to doing the programs sequentially. Students may become certified and begin practicing midwifery while completing their doctoral studies.
Can I apply to the Midwifery & Women's Health Program while finishing my prerequisites or nursing school?
We encourage students to apply during their final semester of nursing school or prerequisite courses. Nursing students who will be bypassing the CM pathway will need to take the NCLEX while enrolled in prerequisite courses. Recent nursing school graduates will need to take the NCLEX prior to the start of classes. All prereqs must be completed within 10 years of application.
Students may apply for internal and external funding. The program offers funding opportunities that range from small grants for assistance during clinical semesters, to loan repayment when funded by federal programs, to private scholarships for emerging leaders. Thomas Jefferson University also offers a competitive graduate assistantship. We encourage all interested applicants to explore the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website for scholarship and grant opportunities. HRSAs primary function is to improve access to health care for vulnerable and medically underserved populations. Additionally, the ACNM Foundation awards student scholarships.
Yes, we have options for those who earned a bachelor's degree and for those who haven't earned a bachelor's degree yet.
For those with a bachelor's degree, we encourage you to apply to the Full-time Accelerated Coursework Track (FACT) at the Jefferson College of Nursing to earn your BSN, RN in one to two years with assured admissions to the Midwifery Program.
If you do not already have a bachelor’s degree, we encourage you to apply to one of our undergraduate majors in pre-nursing, pre-medical studies, or in pre-health sciences.
I am very interested in earning an MPH prior to undertaking my midwifery studies. Is there a program for me?
Yes, the Jefferson College of Population Health offers accelerated training for future healthcare professionals. The MPH LEAP program is an accelerated course of study designed to increase the number of healthcare professionals who have advanced training in leadership, evidence-based practice, research application and disease prevention with the goal of promoting wellness and addressing the social determinants of health. You are encouraged to apply to both the MPH LEAP program and simultaneously to the either the MS or the Graduate Certificate in Midwifery.