Nurse midwifery, a particularly rewarding field of nursing, has grown in popularity over the last few decades, paving the way for certified nurse midwife programs to crop up all over the nation. RNs interested in women's health, reproductive medicine, and labor/delivery have a few different means to achieve this pathway: the master's in nursing degree and the doctoral degree. With some additional schooling, certifications, and the desire for a more autonomous and higher-level nursing career, RNs can earn the coveted title of certified nurse midwife. Below, we outline the process of becoming a nurse midwife and how to choose the right program for you.

>>> Click here to see the full list of Nurse Midwifery Programs

Choosing a Nurse Midwife Program

There are so many important factors to consider when choosing a nurse midwife program, but finding the right fit is not an impossible task. Ensuring that your school and program of choice is worthy of your time and money is as simple as paying attention to the following details during your research:


A good nurse midwifery program will be accredited by local, regional, and/or national accrediting organizations to ensure quality. A few to look for include the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The American College of Nurse Midwives maintains a list of ACME-accredited midwifery programs.

Program Cost

Most certified nurse midwife programs list tuition cost by credit. On average, nurse midwifery students enrolled in either an MSN or DNP program can expect to pay somewhere around $500-$700 per credit, though this can vary based on school and location. DNP programs require more credits, making the total tuition cost higher than an MSN program. In addition to tuition, students must also factor in the cost of books, transportation, and other mandatory fees.

Program Length

Most MSN-level nurse midwifery programs require 50-60 credits and can be completed in roughly 2-3 years, depending on full-time or part-time study. DNP-level programs take about 3-4 years to complete and require around 75 credits to be eligible for graduation.

Internship/Externship Opportunities

To gain experience, residency programs and other hands-on training can be a valuable part of the nurse midwife's preparation. Most schools can help match students with internships and externships, or students can seek them out on their own at hospitals or midwifery clinics, such as the East Hawaii Midwife Service, which offers a variety of internship options.

Online/Campus Options

To meet the demands of busy students, many programs offer both online and campus-based nurse midwife programs. Some schools will even offer a "hybrid" program, allowing students to take many courses online but also offering classroom-based lectures and labs.

Nurse Midwife Degree Levels Offered

Students have the option to complete a master's degree-level nurse midwifery program or a doctoral nurse midwifery program. Many practices are perfectly fine with an MSN-educated nurse midwife, but those who may want to further their clinical expertise and assume a leadership-based role may prefer to opt for a DNP. There are also other bridge programs that will allow nurses to break in to the nurse midwifery specialty. Luckily, there are a variety of schools around the country that offer each of these pathways.

MSN Programs

MSN-level nurse midwife programs prepare baccalaureate-degreed RNs in the processes of pregnancy, childbearing, family growth and development, and more. Most MSN programs require a BSN, an active RN license, and at least one year of nursing experience (preferably in labor and delivery). North Carolina's East Carolina University, for example, offers an ACME-accredited MSN Nurse Midwifery program. Upon completion of the degree, graduates are eligible to sit for the certified nurse midwife certification exam.

DNP Programs

DNP-level nurse midwife programs take the midwifery curriculum a step further, with additional academic and clinical hours designed to foster leadership within nurse midwives. Students will combine advanced nursing skills with proper evaluation of evidence-based research to take patient care to new heights. For example, Baylor University in Texas offers an ACME-accredited DNP Nurse Midwifery program that promotes optimal care for women and children through clinical expertise.

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

For nurse practitioners who already have an MSN degree or higher, and are looking to switch specialties to become a nurse midwife, the post-master's nurse midwifery certificate program is an ideal route. This program is typically 2 years or so in length, giving nurses a less expensive option to break into the specialty than earning another degree. The University of Colorado, for example, offers a post-master's nurse midwifery certificate program that is fully accredited.

ADN/RN to CNM Bridge Programs

Some schools offer specialized bridge programs for RNs who currently hold an ADN degree and wish to earn an MSN with a nurse midwifery focus. Enrolled students can essentially skip the BSN step, as the program allows for a year of bridge programs and then MSN-level coursework. Frontier Nursing University offers an ADN/RN to CNM program that requires 64 credit hours once students have completed their bridge courses.

BSN to CNM Programs

BSN-educated RNs have the choice to earn an MSN degree in certified nurse midwifery, or a specialty post-BSN DNP-level nurse midwifery degree. For example, the University of Pittsburgh offers an accredited three-year BSN to DNP-Nurse Midwife program where students can bypass the MSN.

Online Nurse Midwife Programs

To accommodate the busy lives of students, many schools now offer online nurse midwifery programs designed to work around hectic schedules. For those unsure whether an online program is for them, "hybrid" programs, which offer both online and classroom-based courses, are another option. In either case, a computer and an internet connection may be just the way to obtain a rewarding career as a certified nurse midwife.

Advantages of an Online Program

Aside from the convenience of online programs, students enrolled in this flexible option also have the advantage of eliminating the commuting costs associated with classroom-based programs. Gas, vehicle wear and tear, and parking permit expenses are of no worry to online students. Most programs allow clinical hours to be arranged in the student's local area as well. When researching online nurse midwife programs, it's important to consider a few key aspects in order to choose the right program for you.

Program Accreditation

Much like campus-based programs, online programs can be accredited by nationally-recognized accrediting bodies. The most important one for nurse midwifery programs is the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). ACEN and CCNE-accredited programs can also be considered reputable, as it means they meet the strenuous academic guidelines put forth by these organizations.

Costs and Length

Many times, online nurse midwifery programs are comparably priced to - or even less expensive - than their campus-based counterparts. Length can vary more for online programs, as many are self-paced; students can finish as quickly (or slowly) as they want to. The online MSN Nurse Midwifery program at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio can be completed in 24 months of full-time study.

What Are the Admissions and Certification Requirements?

Admissions requirements for most nurse midwifery programs include:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • BSN from accredited college or university
  • Current active RN license
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of reference
  • Personal goal statement
  • At least one year of professional nursing experience

In order to gain certification as a nurse midwife, RNs must pass the examination put forth by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Proof of licensure as an RN
  • Satisfactory completion of an ACME-accredited nurse midwifery graduate degree
  • Verification by the director of the nurse midwifery program confirming that the candidate has completed the degree along with the date that it was completed

List of Nurse Midwife Programs

There is a plethora of nurse midwifery programs across the nation which will prepare RNs for a career as a certified nurse midwife. Our comprehensive list can be seen below.

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182
(619) 594-5200
University of California San Francisco
UCSF Box 0602
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-1435


SchoolContact Information
University of Colorado
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
12950 E. Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
(303) 724-2152


SchoolContact Information
Yale University
400 West Campus Drive
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 785-2389

District Of Columbia

SchoolContact Information
Georgetown University
3700 O St NW
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-0100
The George Washington University
2121 I St NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000


SchoolContact Information
Emory University
MSN Programs
1520 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-7980
Georgia Southern University
1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458
(912) 478-4636


SchoolContact Information
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
845 South Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 996-7800
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
1601 Parkview Ave
Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 395-0600


SchoolContact Information
University of Kansas
DNP Programs
1246 West Campus Road Room 153A
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-6414


SchoolContact Information
Frontier Nursing University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
195 School Street
Hyden, KY 41749
(606) 672-2312


SchoolContact Information
University of Michigan
426 N. Ingalls St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5985
Wayne State University
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
5557 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-4082


SchoolContact Information
Bethel University
MSN Programs
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112
(651) 638-6400
University of Minnesota
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-9600


SchoolContact Information
University Of Missouri Kansas City
DNP Programs
5100 Rockhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-1000

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Rutgers School of Nursing
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 972-4307

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
The University of New Mexico
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
Columbia University
DNP Programs
617 W 168th St
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-5756
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300
Stony Brook School of Nursing
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333
Stony Brook University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
100 Nicolls Rd
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 632-6000
Suny Downstate Medical School
MSN Programs
450 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
(718) 270-1000

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
East Carolina University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
East Fifth Street
Greenville, NC 27858
(252) 328-6131


SchoolContact Information
Case Western Reserve University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
The Ohio State University
DNP ProgramsMSN Programs
1585 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-4041
University of Cincinnati
MSN Programs
2600 Clifton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(151) 355-8550 x0


SchoolContact Information
Oregon Health & Sciences University
DNP ProgramsMSN Programs
3147 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239
(503) 494-8311


SchoolContact Information
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281
University of Pittsburgh
DNP Programs
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
(412) 624-4586


SchoolContact Information
Baylor University
DNP Programs
1301 S University Parks Dr
Waco, TX 76798
(800) 229-5678
Texas Tech University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730


SchoolContact Information
University of Utah
DNP Programs
10 South 2000 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-3414


SchoolContact Information
Old Dominion University
MSN Programs
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000
Shenandoah University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 665-4500


SchoolContact Information
Seattle University
ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 296-6000
University of Washington
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2100
Western Governors University of Washington (WGU)
20435 72nd Ave S #301
Kent, WA 98032
(206) 673-8562

West Virginia

SchoolContact Information
West Virginia Wesleyan College
MSN Programs
59 College Avenue
Buckhannon, WV 26201
(304) 473-8000


SchoolContact Information
Marquette University
1250 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(800) 222-6544