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We encourage persons interested in becoming a midwife to spend some time with a local midwife, learning about the profession, practice settings, and prospects for the future. Use our Find-a-Midwife search engine to locate a midwife in your local community. In addition, there are a number of books that are either written by midwives about their lives or include interviews with midwives, that will provide a picture of the life of a midwife.
It is best to have a thorough grounding in basic sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and mathematics. There are many pathways to midwifery education, including an undergraduate degree in nursing, an accelerated RN in route to graduate education in midwifery, or completing science prerequisites then entering graduate midwifery education directly.
All midwifery programs teach the conduct of birth outside the hospital setting. The majority of education programs are able to offer clinical learning experiences in the community setting with midwifery preceptors who practice in birth centers and/or homes. If you are very interested in out-of-hospital birth experiences, contact the midwifery education program director before you apply to be sure that such experiences are available at that program.
Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) provide primary care services including reproductive health care, for women/individuals from adolescence onward and well newborns up to 28 days of life. Nurse-midwives provide care in a wide range of outpatient and inpatient settings including clinics, hospitals, birth centers, and homes. More information about midwifery scope of practice can be found on the American College of Nurse-Midwives website and in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health.
Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment. We conduct physical examinations; prescribe medications including controlled substances and contraceptive methods; admit, manage and discharge patients; order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests and order the use of medical devices. Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling.
The ICN definition of nursing states that:
Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people. Advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management, and education are also key nursing roles. (ICN 2010).
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LSNM Core competencies
Three aspects differentiate LSNM from its competition giving us a competitive advantage in the country at large.