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Appendix E
Glossary of Midwifery Organizations
and Terms*
There is wide variability in the legal status and level of practice authority of
midwives across the United States. The different titles for midwives––certified
nurse–midwives (CNMs), certified midwives, direct-entry midwives, licensed
midwives, licensed direct-entry midwives, and certified professional midwives—
can be confusing, as can the different credentialing standards for midwives and
different professional associations and grassroots organizations. This glossary is
provided for information and reference purposes to clarify these various require-
ments, qualifications and standards. It is inclusive of the range of midwifery
terms, including nurse–midwifery, and is representative of current activity across
the country. Listings are alphabetical and include a web site address where appli-
cable. The year an organization was formed and when a term first came into use
is also noted.
American Association of Birth Centers: A nonprofit, multidisciplinary mem-
bership organization founded by Childbirth Connection (formerly Maternity
Center Association) over 25 years ago. It was formerly known as the National
Association of Childbearing Centers. The American Association of Birth
Centers establishes national standards and accreditation for birth centers and
advocates federally and in the states for birth center reimbursement and other
concerns. www.birthcenters.org
American College of Nurse–Midwives (ACNM): Professional organization for
CNMs and certified midwives established in 1955. The American College of
Nurse–Midwives sets standards for academic preparation and clinical practice.
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