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 can be
confusing, as can the different credentialing standards for midwives and dif-
ferent professional associations and grassroots organizations.
Seven organizations are responsible for midwifery education, certification,
accreditation, and professional association in the United States:
Professional associations: American College of Nurse–Midwives,
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, and Midwives
Alliance of North America
Certification bodies: American Midwifery Certification Board and
North American Registry of Midwives
Educational accreditors: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery
Education and Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
There are three separate midwifery credentials in the United States: certi-
fied nurse–midwives (CNM), certified midwives, and certified professional
midwives. Each credential accepts different levels of education, training, and
experience and the qualifications of midwives who use the certified profes-
sional midwife designation can vary markedly. This glossary is provided for
information and reference purposes to clarify these various requirements,
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 website address where
applicable. The year an organization was formed and when a term first came
into use is also noted.
Appendix E
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