They are not talking about a Ph.D. They are talking about a DNP and this is not yet set in stone. The desire for all advanced practice nurses (so NPs, nurse-anesthetists, --> not just nurse-midwives) to have a DNP is being pushed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Council on Collegiate Nursing Education.
It should be said that ACNM has written, in a formal position statement, that they do not agree that nurse-midwives should be required to have a DNP. Whether or not they will be able to sway opinions in other organizations is another story entirely.
Regardless, there is pretty much a consensus that if you become a CNM through an MSN degree or a post-grad certificate before 2015 you will be "grandfathered" in.
I am starting a master's nurse-midwife program this fall and I am not concerned. Frankly, many DNP programs are identical to the MSN programs that are out there.
I plan on having my own practice and not accepting most insurances so I can afford to not really be concerned. However, I realize that my plans could change and if I end up working in a hospital or in someone else's practice then there are things to think about:
- Will the MSN-trained midwives be 'second class' to DNP-trained midwives?
- Will this result in a pay differential? Similarly, will there be a difference in reimbursement?
- Will this impact the employability of MSN-trained midwives? (is that a word?
I don't know what path you were planning to take for your CNM. But, if the DNP replaces the MSN, then instead of applying to MSN programs, you'll just be applying to DNP programs.