Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) role developed in the US in the early 1900s from concern of high maternal and infant mortality. The ability of nurses to provide education and care, especially for rural communities, as way to improve outcomes has been well documented. CNMs continue to provide care for women, including care related to pregnancy and delivery, as well as primary care for women throughout their lives.


There are 242 certified nurse midwives (CNM) registered and licensed in Arizona.

Midwifery as practiced by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) encompasses a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence beyond menopause. These services include primary care, gynecologic and family planning, preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum, normal newborn during the first 28 days of life, and treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections.

CNMs provided comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment. They 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. These services are provided in partnership with women and facilities in diverse settings such as ambulatory care clinics, private offices, community and public health systems, homes, hospitals and birth centers.

CNMs are educated in two disciplines, midwifery and nursing. They earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM.

CNMs must demonstrate that they meet the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) upon completion of their midwifery education programs and must practice in accordance with the ACNM Standards for the Practice of Midwifery. ACNM competencies and standards are consistent with or exceed the global competencies and standards for the practice of midwifery as defined by the International Confederation of Midwives. To maintain the designation of CNM, midwives must be recertified every 5 years through AMCB and must meet specific continuing education requirements.

There are 13,000 CNMs in the United States of America. In 2012, CNMs attended 313,846 births, 8% of all births in the US. Nearly 95% were attended in hospitals, 2.6% in free-standing birth centers, and 2.5% in homes.


For more details concerning CNMs, refer to the ACNM website;