What is a Nurse Midwife? Nurse Midwife Definition


 Nurse Midwife

If you work in the medical field, especially with professionals in women’s health, you might be familiar with nurse midwives. If not, no fear – this post will explain everything related to nurse midwives!

Nurse Midwife Definition

A nurse midwife, usually called a Certified Nurse Midwife or CNM, is a type of registered nurse.

While most RNs, or registered nurses, can become certified after earning an Associate degree (2 years) or a Bachelor degree (4 years), a CNM is an advanced practice registered nurse, or APRN.

Nurse midwives specialize in midwifery, which is the treatment and care of women, particularly for their sexual and reproductive health. Midwives often educate, screen, and care for expectant mothers before, during, and after pregnancy.

While many pregnant women do not work with CNMs, women who are high risk may benefit greatly from having a nurse midwife work with them.

These women include those who are older; have preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease; or are carrying multiples like twins or triplets.

The CNM can aid the doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists, by conducting critical analysis, problem solving, and evidence-based decision making.

APRNs like nurse midwives have post-graduate education in nursing, so they have either earned a Master of Science in Nursing or a PhD.

Because they have more education and training, they are often more involved with patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment implementation, and evaluation. They often have more responsibilities than typical nurses.


These are examples of the phrase “Certified Nurse Midwife” used correctly in a sentence!

  • I want to become a Certified Nurse Midwife because I can work more closely with patients and provide care to them.
  • If you want to become a CNM, you have to get a Bachelor’s degree and then study in graduate school, so make sure you really want to do it before you commit so much time and money.
  • Have you asked your doctor about getting a Certified Nurse Midwife assigned to you?


This is a sample dialogue between a new expectant pregnant mother and her doctor, discussing Certified Nurse Midwives.

Doctor: Hi! All the vital signs that we checked today look like they are normal. The babies seem to be growing very healthily! Even though you are having triplets, I don’t see any sign that there is anything to worry about. Do you have any questions?

Woman: Hi Doctor. That’s so great to hear! I actually have been reading a little bit about the experience of other mothers who have been pregnant with triplets. A lot of them talk about having someone called a nurse midwife with them. Do you know what they’re talking about?

Doctor: Oh yes, I do! Good question. Nurse midwives are nurses who have more advanced degrees than your typical registered nurse. They do more than basic check-ups, too. For someone like you, they can educate you about keeping yourself healthy during your pregnancy and how to care for so many babies at once after you give birth.

Woman: That sounds interesting! I had never heard of nurse midwives before I read some books on them. Do you have them at this hospital? I think I would benefit a lot from the education the nurse could provide.

Doctor: We do have a couple here. Sometimes we can assign a nurse midwife to you if you request one. Would you like me to put in a request for you?

Woman: Yes, could you do that for me? When could I meet the nurse midwife assigned to me?

Doctor: Of course, no problem! I will have someone do that right away. Do you have any other questions?

Woman: No, thank you very much! I’m very excited to meet this nurse midwife and start learning more about taking care of myself and my triplets!

Other Words You Can Create

Nurse midwives are also known as Certified Nurse Midwives, or CNMs.

  • Nurse midwifery (noun): the study and profession of nursing that is specialized to care for women. It deals primarily with sexual and reproductive health, as well as before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Midwife nursing (noun): the same thing as nurse midwifery, but not as widely used

Synonyms (Other Ways to Say Nurse Midwife)

As nurse midwives are one type of professional, they are related to but not the same as the following:

  • Obstetrician: a physician, or medical doctor, who has an MD (Medical Doctorate). When in a team, the obstetrician is usually the leader
  • Obstetric nurse: a registered nurse that helps the obstetrician in caring for the sexual and reproductive health of women
  • Midwife: a trained professional (who only needs to complete midwife training, rather than earn a college or post-graduate degree) who specializes in helping women delivery babies
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments