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Career Profile: Nurse Midwives

Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. May provide well-woman gynecological care. Must have specialized, graduate nursing education.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 7,300 people employed as nurse midwives in the United States. The median annual salary is $111,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $67,710 per year and senior employees earn approximately $179,770 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Develop and implement individualized plans for health care management.
  • Explain procedures to patients, family members, staff members or others.
  • Order and interpret diagnostic or laboratory tests.
  • Initiate emergency interventions to stabilize patients.
  • Document findings of physical examinations.
  • Educate patients and family members regarding prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, or interconception care.
  • Perform physical examinations by taking vital signs, checking neurological reflexes, examining breasts, or performing pelvic examinations.
  • Write information in medical records or provide narrative summaries to communicate patient information to other health care providers.
  • Provide primary health care, including pregnancy and childbirth, to women.
  • Consult with or refer patients to appropriate specialists when conditions exceed the scope of practice or expertise.
  • Conduct clinical research on topics such as maternal or infant health care, contraceptive methods, breastfeeding, and gynecological care.
  • Manage newborn care during the first weeks of life.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in midwifery.
  • Instruct student nurse midwives, medical students, or residents on the birthing process.
  • Establish practice guidelines for specialty areas such as primary health care of women, care of the childbearing family, and newborn care.
  • Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, health care teams, or the community.
  • Provide prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, or newborn care to patients.
  • Monitor fetal development by listening to fetal heartbeat, taking external uterine measurements, identifying fetal position, or estimating fetal size and weight.
  • Document patients' health histories, symptoms, physical conditions, or other diagnostic information.
  • Provide patients with direct family planning services, such as inserting intrauterine devices, dispensing oral contraceptives, and fitting cervical barriers, including cervical caps or diaphragms.
  • Prescribe medications as permitted by state regulations.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
7,300
Annual Openings:
500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
11%
Annual Salary Range:
$67,710 - $179,770
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher