FAQs

  1. What is a Midwife?
  2. Who is considered a “qualified clinical preceptor”?
  3. What is the difference between a Certified Midwife/Certified Nurse Midwife (CM/CNM) and a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?
  4. Can I have more than one clinical preceptor?
  5. Can students at The Midwifery Institute attend homebirths?
  6. I have a bachelor’s degree from a non-accredited school. Can I apply The Midwifery Institute?
  7. Does The Midwifery Institute offer a route to completing my bachelor’s degree?
  8. Can I become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) upon graduation from The Midwifery Institute?
  9. I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Can I apply to this program?
  10. Does Jefferson offer the option of becoming a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)?
  11. What if I have a cumulative GPA of below a 3.0 from my undergraduate studies? Can I still apply?
  12. 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?
  13. What if I want to practice abroad after becoming a CM/CNM?
  14. I am a CM/CNM interested in a doctoral degree? Does The Midwifery Institute offer this option?
  15. I am a CM/CNM who has been out of practice for a number of years and I would like to update my knowledge base/skills. Does The Midwifery Institute offer a reentry to practice option?
  16. I am a CM/CNM who has been out of practice for a number of years and my state licensing board requires that I enter a reentry program. Does The Midwifery Institute offer this option?
  17. Your application requirements state that applicants need to have “experience” before applying to the program. What counts as experience?
  18. Can I apply to The Midwifery Institute while finishing my prerequisites or nursing school?
  19. How do I obtain scholarships and grants?
  20. How much do Midwifery programs cost?
  21. I am not a nurse, but I would like to become a nurse-midwife. Is there a program for me?
  22. I am very interested in earning an MPH prior to undertaking my midwifery studies. Is there a program for me?


1) What is a Midwife?

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 programme 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.

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2) Who is considered a “qualified clinical preceptor”?

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.

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3) 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 out of hospital settings and CPMs predominantly practice in homes or birth centers.

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4) Can I have more than one clinical preceptor?

Yes, students at The Midwifery Institute may have more than one clinical preceptor for four primary reasons.

  1. The student is working with a group of midwives that are all part of the same practice.
  2. The student desires experience in more than one setting.
  3. 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.
  4. The student has secured one site for outpatient clinical and another for full scope clinical.

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5) Can students at The Midwifery Institute attend homebirths?

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.

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6) I have a bachelor’s degree from a non-accredited school. Can I apply The Midwifery Institute?

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.

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7) Does The Midwifery Institute offer a route to completing my bachelor’s degree?

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.

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8) Can I become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) upon graduation from The Midwifery Institute?

Yes, students who attend a minimum of 10 out of hospital 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.

*** To see a list of the states in which CPMs practice legally, click here. Some states may have additional requirements. Be sure to contact your state licensing board for specifics.

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9) I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Can I apply to this program?

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.

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10) Does Jefferson offer the option of becoming a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)?

Yes, students who are interested in earning their WHNP can apply to the Jefferson College of Nursing.

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11) What if I have a cumulative GPA of below a 3.0 from my undergraduate studies? Can I still apply?

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.

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12) 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 larger 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.

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13) What if I want to practice abroad after becoming a CM/CNM?

Yes, midwives do practice abroad upon graduation. If you are interested in international opportunities, click here (ACNM Dept of Global Outreach).

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14) I am a CM/CNM interested in a doctoral degree? Does The Midwifery Institute offer this option?

The Midwifery Institute is pleased to announce the addition of a Doctor of Midwifery to our suite of Midwifery programs. The inaugural class will begin in Fall 2017 and we are currently accepting applications. Please click here for more information.

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15) I am a CM/CNM who has been out of practice for a number of years and I would like to update my knowledge base/skills. Does The Midwifery Institute offer a reentry to practice option?

Yes, The Midwifery Institute has a non-matriculating refresher program for midwives who have been certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). For more information on reentry programs, click here.

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16) I am a CM/CNM who has been out of practice for a number of years and my state licensing board requires that I enter a reentry program. Does The Midwifery Institute offer this option?

Yes, The Midwifery Institute has a non-matriculating refresher program for midwives who have been certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). For more information on reentry programs, click here.

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17) 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.

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18) Can I apply to The Midwifery Institute while finishing my prerequisites or nursing school?

Absolutely! We encourage students to apply during their final semester of nursing school or prerequisite courses. Gather your materials including all official transcripts (except for those courses you are currently enrolled) and we will consider your application. If you are offered admission, your acceptance remains conditional until you show proof that you passed your courses with a C or better. 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.

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19) How do I obtain scholarships and grants?

The Midwifery Institute frequently offers students a small grant during their clinical semesters. Thomas Jefferson University also offers a competitive graduate assistantship. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, click here. 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 and you learn more here.

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20) How much do Midwifery programs cost?

For questions about any of the program tuition costs and fees, please refer to the graduate section of the Student Accounts website, here.

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21) I am not a nurse, but I would like to become a nurse-midwife. Is there a program for me?

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. On acceptance to the FACT program, apply to the MS in 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.

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22) 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.

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Upcoming Midwifery Webinars

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Monday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Learn more about the new Doctor of Midwifery program and stay for a presentation in “Strategies to Address the Root Causes of Maternal and Infant Health Disparities in Maternity Care.” ACNM Specialty Credit has been applied for.

MS in Midwifery Info Session

Monday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Learn more about various Midwifery study options and stay for the final chapter of the “ABC’s of Patient-Provider Relationships” series.

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