How to Become a Midwife in Florida: Everything You Need To Know

Midwives provide primary health care to women during pregnancy and beyond. Some types of midwives, notably certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs), provide gynecological care for women throughout their lives. Other types of midwives, such as certified professional midwives (CPMs) deal primarily with pregnancy. All types of midwives guide women through prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.

Midwives may work in private practices, hospitals, or birthing centers. Some specialize in attending to home births.

Section 1: What is a midwife?

A midwife is a nurse practitioner with some additional training and experience, who works with pregnant women to ensure their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period.

Although nurses, physicians, and other health care providers provide care to pregnant women, midwives are specifically trained to work with pregnant women.

Midwives have higher levels of education than most health care providers and have more experience than some doctors and nurses. Midwives may work in private practices, hospitals, or birthing centers. Some specialize in attending to home births.

Postpartum: What is midwifery?

Women who have given birth in a hospital generally receive physical care for the newborn.

Types of Midwives

There are different types of midwives and they serve different purposes. Learn more about them below.

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

A CNM is a licensed nurse who has graduated from a program and passed a written exam.

CNM Midwives, who work in private practices, hospitals, or birthing centers, are certified through agencies that accredit the midwifery programs that their graduates have completed.

By contrast, Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) work in hospitals, birth centers and other health care settings.

Midwives who work in birth centers and hospitals also receive additional training.

Midwifery is not available in all areas of the country, so women who choose a midwife must look for an area where midwifery is available.

How to Become a Midwife

To be eligible for a Florida midwifery license, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, pass a licensing exam, and complete a three-year apprenticeship. The exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, and each test may be taken only twice in a three-year period. The vast majority of midwives take this test at least twice, but since the majority take the test at least three times, some may take it a total of five times.

After passing the test, the midwife must take at least six months to a year to gain experience before they can apply for a state license to practice.

Education and Training

All midwives are regulated, licensed and trained to practice in the state in which they are licensed. A midwife must complete a registered apprenticeship program, and take the licensing exam (which requires 300 hours of completed classes), before she can practice. Once they are licensed, midwives are required to renew their licenses annually.

A Certified Nurse-Midwife, known as a CNM, is a registered nurse with more clinical experience than a nurse and more education than a midwife. A CNM can complete both childbirth and postpartum care.

Midwives, sometimes referred to as nurse-midwives, are medical practitioners with additional training and experience. All CPMs must complete a nursing program, but only a CPM can practice in hospitals, free-standing birthing centers and birth centers.

Requirements to Become a Certified Professional Midwife

To practice as a certified professional midwife, you must be licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing. To become a certified professional midwife, you must complete a master’s degree in nursing, a midwifery apprenticeship, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, midwifery, or another allied health field.

You also must have had previous experience as a nurse. Certifying nurse midwives (CNMs) and midwives must have a master’s degree in midwifery. Those who don’t complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing do not need to have the same amount of nursing experience as a CNM or a CPM.

Certified professional midwives must also complete a two-year apprenticeship program. Both CPMs and CNMs may take courses during their apprenticeship.

Requirements for becoming a certified professional midwife in Florida

To become a midwife, you must complete a certified professional midwifery education program.

You may not complete a program if you are currently employed, or if you plan to be employed by a healthcare system, hospital, home health care organization, assisted living facility, or a health insurance provider.

A pre-medical program is preferred, but not required.

You must complete clinical training for at least 16 weeks.

Midwives must have a bachelor’s degree.

CPMs and CMs must obtain a minimum of a Master of Science in midwifery.

CPMs and CMs may serve women only, while CNMs may serve women and families of any gender.

Medical certificates are not required for applicants to either program.

Requirements for becoming a certified nurse-midwife in Florida

To become a certified nurse-midwife in Florida, you must:

Pass the nursing licensure exam (RN-Midwife: National Board of Certification for Midwives)

Conduct 18 hours of continuing education

Pass an ethics exam

Provide a 500-word essay on the National Organization of Certified Nurse-Midwives and an additional 500-word essay on your experience in the field.

How to become certified as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in Florida

To become a certified professional midwife (CPM) in Florida, you must:

Pass the nursing licensure exam (RN-Midwife: National Board of Certification for Midwives)

Provide 2,500 words of writing on the National Organization of Certified Nurse-Midwives and an additional 500 words on your experience in the field.

Requirements for becoming a certified midwife in Florida

Certified midwives in Florida require a special license, most commonly the Diplomate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (DACNM).

A midwife may obtain either a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in nursing with a focus on midwifery.

CPMs earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree in midwifery and must pass the American Council on Education (ACE) certification exam before obtaining their license.

Because CNMs may be licensed as providers by states other than Florida, certification by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is preferred in many cases.

To obtain a certification as a certified midwife, a midwife must complete a residency program.

Average Salary for Midwife in Florida

Midwives in Florida

Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs)

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

Certified Midwives (CMs)

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) from Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Florida Association of Certified Professional Midwives provides certification exams for those interested in becoming a midwife. The Florida CPM exam is the only midwife exam that is nationally recognized and exam preparation is provided by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs)

Certified Nurse Midwives provide gynecological care throughout their careers. They often specialize in prenatal, labor, and postpartum care.