One of the most unique advanced nursing practice specialties is that of Nurse Midwifery. Midwives have been in existence for generations, typically providing care for women giving birth in remote areas. But in recent years more and more women have been opting for alternatives to in-hospital births and use of Nurse Midwife services.
Nursing school programs for Nurse Midwives are increasing as the specialty grows in demand. Midwives are popular for a number of reasons: they are engaged in all stages of pregnancy, from initial pregnancy and pre-natal care, through birth and post-natal care for both infant and mother.
University nursing schools are common ground for advanced practice RN degrees including the midwifery programs. But standalone midwifery schools are unique to this nursing specialty, as well.
Distance education could be an option for some of the academic portion of the midwife degree program, but most require quite rigorous clinical practice for obvious reasons.
As healthcare grows absurdly expensive the need for autonomous and competent practitioners grows. The nursing profession has spawned a very few number of advanced specialties that offer RNs the opportunity to work independently of physicians—Nurse Midwives are among them.
He or she fills a unique role in that they are prepared to provide care at all stages of a child-bearing woman’s life. Many midwives forge lasting patient-practitioner relationships that allows them to provide fully realized nursing care and guidance for a growing family. Midwives are more affordable in comparison to the care provided long-term by an obstetrician.
The standard curriculum for a Nurse Midwife MSN program includes core Masters level courses in advanced nursing theory, advanced evidence-based research strategies, advanced assessment, advanced pharmacology, and the nature of healthcare systems.
Nurse Midwife courses include:
Degree study prepares midwifery candidates for the Certified Nurse Midwife examination.
The options for patient care environment and type of nursing practice once a nurse midwife ahs earned his or her degree is wide open. Again, in many regions of the country a nurse midwife enjoys autonomous practice. Professionals may build a patient list, provide primary care and guidance within the advanced scope of this nursing specialty, diagnose and treat related patient problems and more.
RN midwives also commonly work in small medical practices as part of a larger care team, in private doctor’s offices, in hospitals, in out patient medical facilities, women’s correctional facilities, public and community health areas, and even in EDs.