Nurse midwives are licensed independent practitioners who provide specialty nursing and medical care in obstetrics & gynecology in outpatient, inpatient and surgical settings. They mostly provide routine gynecological services (e.g., reproductive health visits, annual exams, peri-/post-menopausal care), but also provide counseling, care and treatment during preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period. They are registered nurses (RNs) with specialized advanced education (most have master’s degrees and many have doctorates) and clinical competency to provide nursing & medical care in OB/GYN. Services include, but are not limited to physical assessment, treatment, diagnosis, ordering/interpreting diagnostic & laboratory tests, performing invasive/non-invasion surgical procedures and prescription of pharmacologic agents and non-pharmacologic therapies. Teaching and counseling individuals, families and groups are a major part of CNM practice.
[There are approximately 13,000 CNMs practicing in the U.S.]
American College of Nurse Midwives (http://www.midwife.org)