What is a Nurse-Midwife?
A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery. Nurse-midwives provide independent management of women’s health care, focusing particularly on common primary care issues, Family planning and gynecologic needs of women, pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period and the care of the newborn.
Certified Nurse-Midwives must have completed a university affiliated Nurse-Midwifery Program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and passed the national certification exam to practice.
They are legal and licensed in all fifty states and practice mostly in hospitals and birth centers. In the Department of Defense (DoD), our certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) provide independent midwifery care within our respective scope of practice while fostering consultation, collaborative management, and seamless referral and transfer of care when indicated.
CNMs practice in accordance with the Standards for the Practice of Midwifery, as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
Womack Midwifery Service
The Nurse-Midwifery Service was established at Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) in August of 1994 as a frill-scope service, covering all aspects of the birthing process (antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and newborn assessment). Previously, from 1991 to 1994, the Nurse-Midwifery Services were provided by faculty and students from East Carolina University (ECU) as a part-time service when they were on rotation at WAMC. The outstanding experience that WAMC had with the faculty and students from ECU provided a pathway to the creation of the full-time, full-scope Midwifery Service operating 24/7, opening in August of 1994- present day. There are currently 10 midwives in our Nurse-Midwifery Service, which includes a mixture of Civilian and Active Duty CNMs, which combined have well over 100 years of experience.
The midwives at WAMC offer Well Woman Care including pap smears and contraceptive management. In pregnancy, the midwives offer a continuous, consistent care provider service to those patients desiring the Midwifery model of care during their prenatal, delivery, and postpartum courses. At WAMC the midwives also participate in Centering Pregnancy and couples can, thereafter, proceed into Centering Parenting, which is run by the Pediatric clinic.
Additionally, the midwives at WAMC are active Adjunct Faculty in both the OB/GYN and family Medicine Residency Programs, and teach a multitude of learners within the medical military community. The midwives at WAMC work as a team with these Services, which adds to the inter-professional nature of care and, in turn, provides our WAMC patient’s with the best of all disciplines in caring for them as a team.