CNM and Lay MW - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Can some one explain to me the difference between a Certified Nurse MW and a Lay MW.

My understanding is a lay MW was trained by another MW and studied under her for quite some time, learning from on the job training.

Is a CNM someone who is a nurse (perhaps an RN) who has then taken further schooling to be a MW. Do they got to a University or a MW school?

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#2 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 05:00 PM
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That's about it. Being a registered nurse is necessary to carry the title of CNM but I believe CNMs can obtain their midwifery training in a variety of ways. Most common, probably, is to enter a midwifery program that is affiliated with a nursing program.

There is another way to become a midwife, though, besides through nursing or solely through apprenticeship, and that is to go to a school of midwifery (which also involves apprenticeship.) Midwives who take take the last two routes can also choose to be licensed or non-licensed.
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#3 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 05:39 PM
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A CNM can go to a University (Georgetown has a huge CNM program) or a midwifery school. I believe both confer degrees that are, or similar to, a Master's. Either route, they must have a certain number of years of apprenticeship.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 06:38 PM
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nursing and midwifery are two separate professions. a CNM must study both nursing and midwifery, whereas a midwife (LM, CPM or DEM) primarily studies midwifery.

it's sort of like saying "plumber-carpenter."
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#5 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 07:48 PM
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I am going to be entering a CNM program here soon. There are a few different ways to enter. Some schools do the MW and nursing programs together. These programs are rather new. The program I am doing is only midwifery. Most of the CNMs I work with were OB nurses for a long time (and were sick of the hospital bs - just like me!).

There are avantages to being a LM vs CNM as well as advantages to being a CNM vs LM. I think both groups provide great care - much better than most stinky doctors. (Please note I said "most doctors" not all)
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#6 of 6 Old 03-06-2004, 09:49 PM
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For a very in-depth explanation of the differences in schooling, education, apprenticeship, mentoring and the general philosophies between certified nurse-midwives and direct-entry (previously referred to as lay) midwives, read anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd's article here.

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