By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN
Whether you are on cloud 9 after receiving an offer from an
employer, or still hunting for the perfect employment, getting a head start on
all of the necessary licensure is a vital part of the process. I didn’t have quite
all the information I needed when I started, and subsequently did not know I
was missing my DEA until a pharmacist called me to deny a prescription. Lesson
learned, and love passed on to y'all! Let's make sure you have the full list.
Certification – You must pass the exam given by your professional certifying
body. For CMs/CNMs, this is the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
Test-takers find out immediately if they pass the exam, but it takes a few
weeks to receive the Certificant card and certified number. You must keep up
with modules/CEUs or retake the exam to maintain certification, which must be
renewed every five years. Cost: $500.
Licensure – Multiple
national and/or state approvals are necessary to practice with earned
Provider Identifier (NPI) -
A number assigned to each provider to uniquely identify them, as mandated by
here after passing the AMCB certification
exam. Cost: Free.
Nurse (RN) License - For CNMs, an RN
license is necessary in each state of practice. Typically there are very long
waiting periods, so start this and the APN/CNM application immediately after
passing the exam! Cost: Varies by state.
Practice Nurse (APN) or CNM/CM License - Advanced practice ability in each state of practice. There is
no separate CNM licensure where I practice, so I am licensed under an APN
umbrella. Make sure you understand all of the particulars in your state! Cost:
Varies by state.
Substances Registration -
Permits prescription of controlled substances. Each organization requires, and
each state allows, approval of certain Schedules* of controlled substances for
midwives: check to be sure what you need before submitting this application. Cost:
Varies by state.
Enforcement Administration (DEA) License - National licensure to provide controlled substances. Note: The
controlled substance registration number is required prior to application
for the DEA license. Cost:
Provider Maintenance - Each practice and state will have different provider
requirements, including resuscitation procedures and skill practice. Make sure
to know your list and requirements! Here is the starting lineup:
Life Support (BLS) and CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Healthcare
Professionals - Through the American
certification for BLS-CPR lasts two years. Make sure you have your training
up-to-date! Cost: Varies by training site.
Resuscitation Program (NRP) - This is an online
exam is completed 30 days
prior to classroom teaching and examination, and completion is valid for two
years. There is no formal reminder when you are due for renewal, but you can
sign up for an email reminder four months prior to your course expiration at
website. Are you due for your
NRP? Find instructors
or courses in your area. Cost: Online exam is $23.50, classroom fees at discretion of
Education - CEUs are a way to ensure
a continued knowledge-base related to practice. For the AMCB, midwives are
required to complete 20 contact hours (2.0 CEUs) per cycle for certification
maintenance. There are many options to obtain CEUs, including precepting, conference attendance,
publications, and additional trainings.
Looking for a way to keep track of all of this? Try keeping your
own log of original and expiration dates. Here’s a spreadsheet that will get you started!
*Schedules are categories of drugs based on
potential abuse risk. The State of Connecticut provides a great review of the
Controlled Substance Schedules here.
Stephanie Tillman is a
recently-graduated Nurse-Midwife now practicing full-scope midwifery in the
urban United States, at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and as a
member of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). With a background in global
health and experience in international clinical care, the impact of public
health and the broader profession of midwifery are present in all her thoughts
and works. Stephanie's blog, Feminist
Midwife, discusses issues related to women, health, and care. Find out
more at www.feministmidwife.com and follow her on Twitter at @feministmidwife.