I'm interested in finding out about the training that most CPM's in the US have. I am a home birth CNM who has always been a proponent of CPM's, but recently read some information about them that has me changing my mind. I previously thought CPM's had similar training to CNM's, just without the nursing component. I am now precepting a CPM student and started doing some research about the "school" she is using and the NARM requirements to sit for the CPM exam to become certified. I was shocked to find out that as recently as last year you didn't even have to have a high school diploma to become a CPM. NARM also doesn't require that you attend ANY midwifery school if you use their "PEP process". You need only submit evidence that you completed your clinical requirements (births, prenatals, newborn exams, etc). Also, up until last year, you could do this training with a lay midwife with no education or license and become a CPM. Another change last year was that your training need only last 1 year and then if you could pass the CPM exam, you could go out and take care of babies and moms. They've now extended that to 2 years. I know in my state of NY, most CPM's aren't able to get licensed and I now understand why. These NARM requirements are the LEAST you need to do to become a CPM. What I'm wondering is what education/training do most CPM's have?
When I was first looking into the different training paths, I found this book to be really helpful: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/books/paths.asp.
Mama, birth worker, and dreamer extraordinaire.
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How's that for "rigorous" training?
I was enrolled at a MEAC-accredited program. Which was OK. If I had to rate the quality of education I was getting - it would be firmly in the "OK" category. It accompanied an apprenticeship. I had a 3 different preceptors. They signed off on my NARM skills - and I found the process of having my skills "signed-off on" very subjective.
At first I thought I'd gotten myself into a unique situation where I wasn't getting the "rigorous, out-of-hospital skills training" that all the other apprentices and CPM advocacy organizations claimed CPMs had. But then I talked to a few other apprentices - some doing the PEP process, some in MEAC programs - and for the large part - many students were pretty dissatisfied with the quality of their education and the subjective-ness of the skills check-offs.
Some CPMs are skilled, well-trained and quite knowledgeable. But the CPM credential does not necessarily assure that. CPMs generally won't outwardly criticize CPM education. But they talk about it among each other all the time. Which makes me wonder why they don't - as a profession - push for better educational standards for becoming a CPM.
Oh - I'm not pursuing CPM training any more, either. The quality of education was a big part of that decision.
Thanks for your post krst. I posted here and one other site, and yours was the only reply. If CPM's are not proud of the education and training they receive (evidenced by the lack of replies to my request) why aren't you pushing for better training or education? I, also, didn't think my education was adequate enough to take care of moms and babies. I happen to value my 10 years as an L&D nurse, for the training it gave me for my current calling as a midwife.
When it became clear to me that the CPM pathway was not providing the education, competency and standards I would want in a midwife who would attend my own home birth - I abandoned that option all together.
There is also rampant endemic bullying among this group. Speaking out (or just asking legitimate questions like: is there sufficient education to support this credential?) can lead to being the recipient of some really ugly emails and phone calls.
Haven't had a brick thrown through my window though, so I count my blessings.
I don't know if you meant "you" as in me specifically or if you meant "you" to CPMs in general.
The answer to the first meaning is "life is too short to fight that battle" and to the second meaning is "I would like to know the answer to that question as well". I wish more CPMs would respond like a true group of professionals and critically evaluate their own credential that they outwardly hold in such high regard.
They all seem to know that the CPMl confers only a very basic level of competency, if that.
I think this is going to bite them in the butt pretty soon.
Thanks again for your reply. I meant "you" in the plural sense, and, yes, I've seen some pretty ugly things said about CPM's vs. CNM's. I, unfortunately, can relate to your comment "life is too short to fight that battle...". Like I said in my original post, I thought many of those that were against CPM's were too harsh, but am beginning to become pretty judgmental myself, I guess. I just think the only way to advance midwifery in the states (where I'm from) is to #1 provide a united front and #2 to make sure if we go by the name "midwife" we are the best midwife we can be--by educating ourselves, getting appropriate training and gleening the wisdom from the wise "old" midwives. If we are going to be taken seriously by other maternity care providers we have to do better, whether it's CNM education/training or CPM. I did my midwifery training at the University of Pennsylvania, an ivy league school. I chose this school because it was the closest proximity to my home at the time. I was already an RN with a bachelor's degree and had practiced for 10 years. U of Penn had an RN/CNM program where the students could graduate from their RN program, not practice one day as an RN, then enroll directly into the CNM program. All total, they would have 5 1/2 years of education and no experience other than their clinical rotation during their schooling. I graduated from the same program they were using and at the end, if we all passed the CNM exam, we were CNM's. I only had to provide proof that I attended TWENTY births to be able to sit for this exam!!! (This was in 1999) I know NARM requirements are much more stringent now (50 births or more?), I don't know if my program's requirements are any different. THIS IS NOT ADEQUATE, in my humble opinion. When midwives can stand up and say honestly that "We deserve better training!" we will be taken more seriously by other maternity care providers and women that need maternity care will get better midwives.