Thinking about becoming a midwife?
What are the different ways to become a midwife?
There are two basic types of midwives: nurse-midwives and direct-entry midwives.
Certified Nurse Midwives, generally speaking, have an undergraduate in nursing and a master's in midwifery. Many practice in hospitals or birth centers, but in Iowa, they are also the only midwives who can legally provide homebirth.
Direct-entry midwives, including Certified Professional Midwives, directly entered the practice of midwifery via apprenticeship training, not through the route of nursing. They are licensed in many states to provide homebirth; however, they are not licensed in Iowa and as such are not considered legal and cannot order tests or file for insurance reimbursement. Not all direct-entry (non-nurse) midwives are Certified Professional Midwives, but neither group is legally recognized in Iowa at this time.
What schools did you attend or do you recommend?
I (Katie) went to the University of Iowa for my undergraduate degree. While I do not believe that nursing is the only route to midwifery, I believe my nursing training was invaluable to me in the overview it gave me of the human body as well as healthcare systems. I was encouraged to value principles like the autonomy of clients and their right to informed consent (and refusal), as well as caring holistically for persons, their family, and their environment. I highly recommend nursing as a route for people who a) want to help people and b) want to find a job. There are literally hundreds of career options, and whether you have children, aging parents, or just want to better understand the healthcare you receive, it's infinitely useful training to have. It's also a handy steppingstone to midwifery.
I attended Frontier Nursing University for my midwifery training. I highly recommend Frontier as its distance-based midwifery program is strongly rooted in good-quality healthcare evidence and has a strong focus on out-of-hospital birth. Eastern Iowa Midwifery is a direct result of the guidance I received from Frontier in performing market research, investigating the relevant laws, and writing a comprehensive business proposal for starting a practice from scratch. While no school is perfect and there are plenty of others out there, Frontier was a great match for me and is the program I know best, so the one I recommend. They also offer a variety of nurse practitioner programs.
For more on nurse midwifery programs, state practice laws, and more. please visit this link.