Frequently Asked Questions
Throughout history in all cultures, midwives have been the primary attendants for women as they labor and give birth. Even today, from a global perspective, more babies are born into the hands of midwives than any other care provider.
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 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.
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 ettings and CPMs predominantly practice in homes or birth centers.
Yes, students at The Midwifery Institute 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 outpatient clinical and another for full scope clinical.
Yes, students are encouraged to find a clinical placement with a qualified preceptor in any setting that is of interest including home and accredited free-standing birthing centers.
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 four 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.
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.
*** Check here to 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.
Yes, you may still apply. Each application is evaluated individually. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are required to write an additional paragraph explaining the circumstances. If your undergraduate GPA is very low, you may consider taking one or two college level courses in the area of weakness. 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 likely require further education as the scope of practice of midwives is broader here in the United States. Keep in mind that 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). Be sure to have ALL of your previous education evaluated, not only your midwifery education.
Midwives do practice abroad upon graduation. If you are interested in international opportunities, please contact the American College of Nurse-Midwives at www.midwife.org.
The Midwifery Institute 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.
Your application requirements state that applicants need to have "experience" before applying to the program. What counts as experience?
We have included experience in our admissions criteria because we want to know more about what life experiences led you to midwifery. Experience can take on many forms which may include nursing school or practice, doula work, lactation support, or volunteer efforts that focus on women’s heath or maternal/infant care and advocacy.
Absolutely! We are excited to collaborate with the Jefferson College of Nursing to offer an accelerated second degree Bachelor of Science in nursing program with assured admission to the Master of Science in midwifery. You can learn more here. 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 and be licensed in at least one state prior to the start of classes. All prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of application.
The Midwifery Institute frequently offers students a small grant during their clinical semesters. 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, if you have already earned a bachelor’s degree, you are encouraged to apply to the Full-time Accelerated Coursework Track (FACT program) 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, you are encouraged 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.