Hello and welcome to another educational article comparing Certified Nurse-Midwives and Nurse Practitioners (CNM vs NP)!

This article will look at the correlation and divergence between a Certified Nurse-Midwife and a Nurse Practitioner.

At the end of this article, you will clearly understand the roles, salaries, and education of the two specialties: Certified Nurse-Midwives and Nurse Practitioners.

This article shall discuss the following and more:

  • CNM vs NP- Overview
  • Job Responsibilities
  • Education Requirements
  • Workplace Environments
  • Salary and Job Outlook

So let us continue!

CNM vs NP – Overview

CNM vs NP - Overview

Certified Nurse-Midwives, are APRNs endorsed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, offering a wide variety of primary healthcare services to female patients, beginning in adolescence and continuing well after menopause.

These services include family planning services as well as gynecology care.

In addition, Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) give preconception and prenatal counseling, assistance during birthing, and postpartum care for the first 28 days after a baby is born.


These Practitioners have Nursing and Midwifery education, expertise, and experience.

Certified Nurse-Midwives have earned nursing degrees at the graduate level and specific certifications.

CNMs typically work in hospitals or physicians’ offices during regular business hours.

However, they are also frequently required to work outside of those hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

Nurse Practitioners adopt an all-encompassing view of medical care and rely on their extensive clinical skills to evaluate and treat various health disorders and injuries.

These Nurses concentrate a significant portion of their efforts on disease prevention and overall health management.

In addition to providing medical care, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) also play important roles as Educators, Researchers, Mentors, and Administrators.

Patients might benefit from lower overall healthcare costs because of the work of these Specialists, who also provide high-quality medical care and counseling services.

Patients and their families can receive assistance in developing efficient healthcare plans that support ongoing health and well-being when NPs are involved.

Job Responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities

CNMs frequently take on the role of primary care providers for their female patients, both during pregnancy and in other aspects of health care.

Helping families plan their families’ pregnancies, giving prenatal care, and doing gynecological exams are all common roles.

CNMs are the Medical Professionals responsible for delivering babies and managing any emergencies that may arise during labor and delivery.

These duties include stitching up any lacerations that may have occurred and occasionally assisting Physicians with surgical procedures during cesarean births.

When their patients have problems with their sexual or reproductive health, these Nurses also care for their patients’ partners.

In addition to this, CNMs can give health education, focusing on preventing diseases and nutrition.

On the other hand, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) provide patients with specialist and general care.

These professionals in the medical field assess patients and devise treatment strategies to alleviate or manage a variety of illnesses, injuries, and medical problems.

Many Nurse Practitioners focus on a particular patient population, such as Pediatrics or Geriatrics.

Job Responsibilities

A Nurse Practitioner’s particular responsibilities and obligations can change per the state in which the Nurse Practitioner works, the patient population that receives the majority of their attention, and the type of medical facility in which they are employed.

Education Requirements

Labor and Delivery Nurse vs Midwife

As is the case with many nursing subspecialties that offer the best pay, those who wish to become Nurse-Midwives must be prepared to devote approximately six to eight years to their studies.

To get certified and licensed as a Nurse-Midwife, you must have a graduate degree.

Most Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) satisfy this criterion by earning master’s degrees.

On the other hand, having a doctoral degree may make it easier for Nurse-Midwives to get higher-level jobs in leadership positions, which sometimes come with increased salaries.

To enroll in a graduate program for Nurse Practitioners, an individual must first get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The second requirement is that candidates have a master’s or post-master’s degree in nursing, either with a general or specialized focus.

The minimum schooling required to become a licensed Nurse Practitioner is a Master of Science in Nursing from an accredited Nurse Practitioner program.

On the other hand, certain groups, such as the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), advocate for a DNP degree to replace the current norm for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).

Workplace Environments

CNM vs NP - Overview

Because Nurse-Midwives hold credentials in both nursing and midwifery, they are qualified to work in various contexts within the healthcare industry, including both public and private organizations.

Public and private hospitals and university and military facilities all employ Certified Nurse-Midwives.

They are employed by both HMOs and private practices in addition to birth centers.

Some midwives opt to work in public health facilities, while others prefer to deliver babies in the comfort of their own homes.

Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives have various professional opportunities, including clinical practice, education, administration, research, and domestic and international health policy and legislative affairs.

NPs offer medical services in various locations, including local health centers, clinics, office practices, and hospitals.

Nurse Practitioners are also employed by healthcare technology companies; they take up teaching assistantships, conduct healthcare research, and serve in the military, health departments, and other organizations.

Licensing & Certification

Education, Licensing, and Training

A Certified Nurse-Midwife is required to complete a graduate program accredited by ACME (Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education) and pass the certification exam before practicing legally.

The Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) certificate is granted by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), which also establishes the basic requirements for Nurse-Midwifery professionals.

At the state level, Certified Nurse-Midwives must hold not one but two licenses: RN and APRN.

RN license requirements by state differ, as does APRN licensure.

Licensing & Certification

Aspiring Certified Nurse-Midwives are required to have clinical expertise.

They must have the knowledge and abilities necessary to treat sexually transmitted illnesses, care for babies, assist with deliveries, provide reproductive care, and care for pregnant women and women who have recently given birth.

Applicants who meet the criteria must also have a valid Registered Nurse license that is free of any restrictions and an advanced nursing degree from a school that has been granted accreditation.

National certification is a prerequisite for practicing in any state as a Nurse Practitioner; the qualifications needed to become a Registered Nurse differ from state to state.

CNM vs WHNP – Continuing Education Requirements

Steps To Becoming A WHNP

Although they work with women to treat acute illnesses and promote overall health and wellness, Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNP) have significantly different particular roles and scopes of practice in the medical field.

In contrast, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners are not just concerned with the needs of female reproductive systems.

Still, they also treat women at all stages of their life, often beginning in adolescence and throughout their lifespan.

CNMs are required to earn 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) throughout each certification cycle; the equivalent of two units is twenty hours.

On the website of the AMCB, you will find a variety of CEU providers that meet the requirements, as well as other options, such as taking classes at the Ph.D. level, publishing research in a journal that is reviewed by your peers, or providing direct clinical supervision to a Midwifery Student.

Each Nurse’s competency assessment will determine the requirements for continuing education they must meet to maintain WHNP certification.

Depending on the individual’s findings, Nurses who seek to keep their certification may need as few as 10 hours of CE or as many as 45.

Salary and Job Outlook

Salary and Job Outlook

The Nurse’s professional and educational backgrounds and the environment they work in are important factors in determining their income.  

A median annual income of $103,770 is awarded to Nurse-Midwives across the United States.

CNMs who fall into the tenth earning percentile make a mean annual pay of $70,100, while those who fall into the ninetieth percentile make a mean annual wage of $151,070.

The rates of pay for Nurse Practitioners vary depending on the geographic area of the practice, the amount of education held by the NP, and their level of professional experience.

The workplace and population Nurses mostly work with can significantly impact their future earnings.

The typical yearly pay for Nurse Practitioners in the United States is $110,030.

NPs whose salaries fall within the bottom tenth percentile earn a mean annual salary of $78,300.

In contrast, those whose salaries fall within the top ninetieth percentile have a mean annual compensation of approximately $150,320.

It is anticipated (from BLS’ prediction) that the number of jobs available for Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse-Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners will increase by 45 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average growth projection for all occupations.

In addition, a career as a Certified Nurse-Midwife or in one of the other APRN specializations can be appealing because of the high degree of responsibility and autonomy that these nurses exercise in their practices.


Conclusion on CNM vs NP

Midwives are extremely devoted to their work, and the rewards they receive come from ensuring the delivery of newborns in a healthy environment.

Salary and Job Outlook

They feel fulfilled to assist a new mother in giving birth, and this feeling is amplified when there are no difficulties, and both the mother and the baby are well following the delivery.

However, being a Midwife is physically demanding work, and you will spend a lot of time on your feet.

It is possible to experience an emotional drain if you are present during a traumatic birth that does not have a good conclusion.

If you care about others, are interested in the process of giving birth, and have a strong stomach, then being a Certified Nurse-Midwife might be the appropriate career choice for you.

Most people become Nurses because they genuinely enjoy their work.

Many Nurse Practitioners are compassionate people who enjoy helping others and do it not only for the financial incentives that come with their profession but also because they genuinely enjoy providing medical care.

If you find yourself drawn to nursing in the first place, chances are you belong in this category.

As a result, you will discover that working as a Nurse Practitioner fulfills you differently.

If you are adequately prepared, the role of a Nurse Practitioner (NP) can provide you with a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and the ideal opportunity to increase your level of responsibility and accountability while also contributing to better patient outcomes.



Which is better, CNM or WHNP?

The provision of primary healthcare to childbearing and pregnant women, and newborns is typically the primary focus of Certified Nurse-Midwives. In contrast, the primary focus of WHNPs is the provision of primary and reproductive medical care to women at all stages of their lives.

Which is better, CNM or WHNP?

The provision of primary healthcare to childbearing and pregnant women, and newborns is typically the primary focus of Certified Nurse-Midwives. In contrast, the primary focus of WHNPs is the provision of primary and reproductive medical care to women at all stages of their lives.

Can WHNPs deliver babies?

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners receive specialized education in the care of female patients. They have the necessary credentials to offer prenatal care and care for women, but they do not perform births. NPs are typically employed in clinics or other hospital settings under the direction of a Medical Director.

What is the timeframe to become a Nurse Practitioner?

Patients frequently receive primary care and various more advanced medical treatments from Nurse Practitioners, highly trained professionals working in the medical industry. It typically takes up to six or eight years to become a Nurse Practitioner because of the amount of schooling and clinical experience required. 

What is the timeframe to become a CNM?

To be a Certified Nurse-Midwife, you must earn a Nursing Bachelor’s degree or BSN, and an MSN degree, so the entire process might take anywhere from six to eight years. Also, you must have worked as a Nurse for at least one year before applying for licensing. 

Can a Nurse become a CNM and an NP?

Many approved Nurse-Midwifery programs train students to be Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners or Nurse-Midwives because of the overlap in activities that WHNPs and CNMs conduct daily. Students unsure about becoming a CNM or a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner might consider any of these nursing programs.


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