Dedicated to helping health professionals.

Michigan Joins Florida in Licensing Midwives

By Carly Van Thomme, Esq.

Earlier this month, Governor Rick Snyder signed a new law providing for licensing of Certified Professional Midwives in Michigan (CPM) under the credential standards set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Michigan joins more than two dozen other states, including Florida, already licensing and regulating midwives under this credential. CPMs are different from Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) in that CPMs enter the field of midwifery through a different path that does not necessarily include a traditional nursing education. Rather, the CPM credential requires three to five years of intensive education and training entirely focused on the evidence-based midwifery model of care.

Proponents of licensing and regulating CPMs argue that this change in law will protect mothers’ freedom to choose how and where they give birth. Very few CNMs are willing to attend home births, for example—but CPMs routinely do. Regulating CPMs will assist mothers in selecting qualified midwives for home birth and protect midwives from criminal prosecution by establishing a proper scope of practice and proper procedures to follow. The new Michigan law also will require midwives to obtain informed consent from patients and to have patient-specific protocols for transfer of care in the event that an emergency hospital transfer becomes necessary. Michigan will develop the licensing program and accompanying administrative rules by early 2019.

Florida began licensing in midwives in 1931 to help regulate the profession to ensure proper formal training. In Florida, the general requirements for licensure are (1) 21 years old or older, (2) High school diploma, (3) Completion of 3-year midwife training program (unless the person is an RN or LPN, in which case this training requirement is reduced), (4) Completion of training under the supervision of a preceptor, caring for a minimum of 50 women, (5) Successful completion of the NARM national certification exam, (6) Successful completion of the college level academic scholastic test (CLAST) or three college-level credits each of math and English, or demonstration of competencies in communication and computation through the College Level Equivalent Proficiency (CLEP) test in communication and computation, and (7) Completion of application with payment of fees. Following licensure, Florida midwives must complete 20 hours of CME every two years. There are currently 188 licensed midwives in Florida, not counting ARNPs who practice midwifery.

If you have questions or concerns about how this new requirement affects your practice, contact Chapman Law Group today to retain attorneys with the up-to-date knowledge and experience necessary to provide you with an accurate legal opinion and reliable legal advice.