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Career profile Nurse Midwife

Also known as Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM); Certified Nurse-Midwife; Nurse Midwife; Senior Instructor, Certified Nurse Midwife; Staff Certified Nurse Midwife; Staff Midwife; Staff Nurse Midwife; Staff Nurse-Midwife

Nurse Midwife

Also known as Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM); Certified Nurse-Midwife; Nurse Midwife; Senior Instructor, Certified Nurse Midwife; Staff Certified Nurse Midwife; Staff Midwife; Staff Nurse Midwife; Staff Nurse-Midwife

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$67,710 - $179,770 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Provide prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, or newborn care to patients.
  • Monitor fetal development by listening to fetal heartbeat, taking external uterine measurements, identifying fetal position, or estimating fetal size and weight.
  • Document patients' health histories, symptoms, physical conditions, or other diagnostic information.
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What does a Nurse Midwife do?

Nurse Midwives diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team.

In addition, Nurse Midwives

  • may provide well-woman gynecological care,
  • must have specialized, graduate nursing education.

What kind of tasks does a Nurse Midwife perform regularly?

Nurse Midwives are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Provide prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, or newborn care to patients.
  • Monitor fetal development by listening to fetal heartbeat, taking external uterine measurements, identifying fetal position, or estimating fetal size and weight.
  • Document patients' health histories, symptoms, physical conditions, or other diagnostic information.
  • Provide patients with direct family planning services, such as inserting intrauterine devices, dispensing oral contraceptives, and fitting cervical barriers, including cervical caps or diaphragms.
  • Prescribe medications as permitted by state regulations.
  • Develop and implement individualized plans for health care management.
  • Explain procedures to patients, family members, staff members or others.
  • Order and interpret diagnostic or laboratory tests.
  • Initiate emergency interventions to stabilize patients.
  • Document findings of physical examinations.
  • Educate patients and family members regarding prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, or interconception care.
  • Perform physical examinations by taking vital signs, checking neurological reflexes, examining breasts, or performing pelvic examinations.
  • Write information in medical records or provide narrative summaries to communicate patient information to other health care providers.
  • Provide primary health care, including pregnancy and childbirth, to women.
  • Consult with or refer patients to appropriate specialists when conditions exceed the scope of practice or expertise.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in genetics.
  • Instruct student nurse midwives, medical students, or residents on the birthing process.
  • Establish practice guidelines for specialty areas such as primary health care of women, care of the childbearing family, and newborn care.
  • Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, health care teams, or the community.
  • Conduct clinical research on topics such as maternal or infant health care, contraceptive methods, breastfeeding, and gynecological care.

The above responsibilities are specific to Nurse Midwives. More generally, Nurse Midwives are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Nurse Midwife salary?

The median salary for a Nurse Midwife is $111,130, and the average salary is $115,540. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Nurse Midwife salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Nurse Midwives earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Nurse Midwives earn less than $67,710 per year, 25% earn less than $91,590, 75% earn less than $136,960, and 90% earn less than $179,770.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Nurse Midwives is expected to change by 12.3%, and there should be roughly 500 open positions for Nurse Midwives every year.

Median annual salary
$111,130
Typical salary range
$67,710 - $179,770
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
12.3%

What personality traits are common among Nurse Midwives?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Nurse Midwife are usually higher in their Social and Investigative interests.

Nurse Midwives typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Nurse Midwives typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Nurse Midwife tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Nurse Midwives very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Nurse Midwives strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Nurse Midwives strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Nurse Midwives must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, stress tolerance, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Nurse Midwives, ranked by importance:

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Nurse Midwives need?

Many Nurse Midwives have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Nurse Midwives may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Nurse Midwives

  • 0.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 0.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 0.6% completed some college coursework
  • 0.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 6.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 74.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 16.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Nurse Midwives

Nurse Midwives may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, psychology, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Nurse Midwives might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

Important Abilities needed by Nurse Midwives

Nurse Midwives must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Nurse Midwives need abilities such as written comprehension, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Nurse Midwives, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Nurse Midwives

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Nurse Midwives frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Nurse Midwives, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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