The large demand for highly trained nurses has increased the number of RNs choosing to become certified nurse midwives (CNMs), especially when they learn the salary potential of a nurse midwife. Candidates with an interest in the childbirth process, caring for infants and promoting good women’s health find this career very rewarding. Nurse midwives, which are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), have the potential to earn six-figure salaries. Learn more about the wage potential of a nurse midwife as well as what it takes to become one.

How to Become a Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some may choose to advance their education and earn a master’s or doctoral degree. Once the candidate earns the nursing degree, he or she must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain licensure as a nurse. The candidate must then complete an APRN program with a specialty in midwifery. Students complete coursework and clinical education in the form of clinical internships. In addition to completing the midwife program, the RN must obtain national and state certification. Each state varies in its certification requirements.

Potential Salary for a Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives can earn very high wages. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nurse midwives earned from $70,100 to $151,070 as of a May 2018 report. The average annual wage for nurse midwives nationwide in 2018 was $106,910 with the average hourly wage at $51.40. The top-paying industry for nurse midwives is the local government, but this does not include hospitals and schools. Other industries that offer a high salary potential for nurse midwives are enterprise management companies; outpatient health centers; medical hospitals, and academia such as colleges and universities.

What Factors Affect Salary Potential?

Although the salary potential of a nurse midwife is very high, their wage potential can vary by different factors.

  • Employer – Nurse midwives work with pregnant and post-delivery moms and infants, and they may work in a variety of settings. These may include doctors’ offices; alternative birthing facilities; hospitals; private practice physician offices and outpatient care facilities. These different employer types also work on a different pay scale so wages will vary. Registered reports that certified nurse midwives typically earn the highest wages working in outpatient care centers. These nurse midwives often earn $115,000 or more.
  • Experience – Employers often pay higher wages to nurse midwives with relevant work experience because the more experience they have, the less training required.
  • Degree Level – An individual may become a certified nurse midwife by earning a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Both degrees can lead to high wages, but midwives with a doctoral degree often are offered more prestigious positions. Obtaining as many certifications as possible also increases earning potential, and some certifications are only possible with certain degrees.
  • Location – The state and city in which a nurse midwife works play an important role in determining the wage potential. Nurse midwives generally earn higher wages in large cities than in smaller cities.

Related Resource: 50 Affordable Accelerated MSN Online Programs

Midwife Wages in Different Locations

The salary potential of a nurse midwife is very much affected by the location in which the midwife works. There can be a huge difference from one city or state to another. Here are five states where certified midwives earned the highest wages according to the BLS.

  • California – $139,990
  • Massachusetts – $119,380
  • Maryland – $115,440
  • Arizona – $114,900
  • New Jersey – $113,980

Working as a midwife allows an RN the opportunity to help new mothers and infants get through a difficult period in their lives. It also allows them to focus on a specialty that’s very rewarding in terms of both what they do and the salary potential of a nurse can midwife.