California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Nurse Midwives in California

May also be called: Advanced Practice Nurses (APN); Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN); and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

What Would I Do?

Nurse Midwives, often called Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM), are registered nurses (RN) who have been educated and certified to provide primary health care services to women. CNMs work in collaboration with a physician to provide care for a woman throughout pregnancy and childbirth. CNMs are prohibited from using any artificial, forcible, or mechanical means of assisting childbirth, such as vacuum extractions. They offer primary health care for women but refer any major issues to a physician, who is a phone call away. Services include basic gynecological care and ordering laboratory tests and medical imaging studies as needed. They also provide immediate care of newborns and sign birth certificates. CNMs may also prescribe medications including birth control and medications for routine health care.

Nurse Midwives work in clean environments such as hospitals, primary care clinics, and physicians’ offices. They are often on their feet for long periods of time, as shifts may last up to 24 hours. According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, 2010 Survey of Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwives, CNMs work an average of 36 hours a week.

Will This Job Fit Me?

Those who like to work with, communicate with, and teach people may enjoy the job of Nurse Midwife. An interest in providing service to others is helpful in this occupation.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Nurse Midwives in California is $163,054 annually, or $78.39 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$132,370$163,054>$145,600
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Typical benefits for CNMs include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Large employers may also offer tuition reimbursement and time off for training.

What is the Job Outlook?

Demand for Nurse Midwives is expected to be high, especially in low-risk patient populations, to provide obstetrics and gynecology services. Other factors, including healthcare legislation and the resulting newly insured as well as the increased emphasis on preventative care also contribute to this demand.

How Do I Qualify?

An individual must be a licensed registered nurse before specializing as a Certified Nurse Midwife. California requires Certified Nurse Midwives to obtain a minimum of a master’s degree in a Board-approved nurse-midwifery program, as well as certification from the Board of Registered Nursing. This requires passing a background check.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains an effective job search method. The Internet, medical recruiters, health care staffing agencies, and professional associations are sources for job listings. In addition, clinical experience during schooling provides networking opportunities. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).


Learn More About Nurse Midwives