Licensed Midwives in Washington
Washington State licenses midwives. The midwife must have graduated from a MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council ) accredited program or prove an equivalent education (usually by obtaining the NARM CPM credential and meeting some additional requirements). She is required to pass a state exam. Washington State uses the NARM exam as the licensing exam. Licensed midwives attend 100 births prior to graduation and participate in hundreds of hours of clinic exams etc. Licensed midwives currently attend home and birth center births. They do not provide well woman care outside of pregnancy and postpartum and they do not have prescriptive authority. They carry medications etc. that may be needed for out of hospital delivery. A few have obtained hospital privileges, though this is not the current norm.
Certified Nurse Midwives
Certified Nurse Midwives first graduate from nursing school and then attend a midwifery program through a university. They usually have a Master’s degree. CNM’s provide well woman care through the lifespan including childbirth. They may provide annual physicals, paps and birth control as well as STD treatment. Most CNM’s may practice within the hospital, home or birth center. The CNM is a national credential, yet each CNM must become licensed within the state in which she practices.
Certified Professional Midwives
A Certified Professional Midwife is a national credential for midwives. The certifying organization NARM hopes that one day all States will recognize this credential. Currently in Washington State the CPM is not yet legally recognized. Many midwives who are licensed midwives are also CPM’s. The midwife must hold a license to legally practice in Washington if she chooses to advertise, accept payment or use any medications etc. that require a license.
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