- Midwifery Advisory Council (MAC) Meeting Notice
- Link to OSHPD for the 2012 Licensed Midwife Annual Report
- User Guide for 2012 Licensed Midwives Annual Report Application
- Sunset Review Report 2012
- Licensed Midwives Sunset Review Section
A "licensed midwife" is an individual who has been issued a license to practice midwifery by the Medical Board of California. The practice of midwifery authorizes the licensee, under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon, in active practice, to attend cases of normal childbirth, in a home, birthing clinic, or hospital environment. For the purposes of California licensure, these allied health care professionals commonly are referred to as licensed midwives.
Licensed midwives, who have achieved the required educational and clinical experience in midwifery or met the challenge requirements, must pass the North American Registry of Midwives' (NARM) comprehensive examination. After successful completion of this examination, prospective applicants are designated as a "certified professional midwife" and are eligible to submit an application for California midwifery licensure.
The comprehensive licensing examination developed by NARM was adopted by the Medical Board of California, Division of Licensing, in May 1996, and satisfies the written examination requirements described in Business and Professions Code section 2512.5(a)(1). The NARM examination is administered twice a year, usually in February and August, at various locations throughout the United States.
The profession of midwifery also has another designation, that of "certified nurse-midwife" (CNM). CNMs are licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. CNMs are registered nurses who acquired additional training in the field of obstetrics and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). They commonly work in hospitals and birthing centers that also are licensed by the state and also require physician supervision. Further information or verification of licensure for a CNM may be obtained by contacting the Board of Registered Nursing at (916) 322-3350, (800) 838-6828, or at www.rn.ca.gov.
There are two pathways to licensure as a midwife in California:
- Education. Candidates must complete a three-year postsecondary education program in an accredited midwifery school
approved by the board. These schools usually are accredited by the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC), whose
accreditation mirrors that of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) requirements, and satisfies Medical Board of California criteria.
Upon completion of educational requirements, including clinical experience evaluation, the candidate also must successfully complete a
comprehensive licensing examination administered by NARM.
Additionally, an applicant for California licensure also may show current licensure as a midwife by another state with licensing standards equivalent to those of the Medical Board of California (Business and Professions Code section 2512.5(b)).
- Challenge Mechanism. As defined in Business and Professions Code section 2513(a)-(c), the challenge process offers a midwifery student and prospective applicant the opportunity to obtain credit by examination for previous midwifery education and clinical experience. This opportunity is provided by two approved "challenge process" programs. Maternidad La Luz (MLL), in El Paso, TX, and the National Midwifery Institute, Inc., (NMI) in Bristol, VT, are the two board-approved challenge process mechanisms that are available for California licensure. Upon successful completion of the challenge process, the candidate also must successfully complete the comprehensive licensing examination. The candidate then may submit an application for California licensure.
Licensure verification for licensed midwives may be obtained by contacting the Medical Board's Consumer Information Unit at (916) 263-2382, or by selecting the "License Search for Licensed Midwives" link at the bottom of this page.
For more specific information related to licensed midwives, please call (916) 263-2382, email Webmaster@mbc.ca.gov, or write to:
Medical Board of California
Attn: Midwifery Program
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
- License Search for Licensed Midwives
- Application for Licensed Midwife
- Summary of the Licensed Midwifery Practice Act of 1993
- Standards of Care
- California Code of Regulations Section 1379.19
- "Standards of Care for California Licensed Midwives" (September 15, 2005 Edition)
- Business and Professions Code, Sections 2505 - 2521
- California Code of Regulations, Sections 1379.1 - 1379.31
- Sample Licensed Midwife Disclosure Form
- Approved Licensed Midwifery Schools
- Approved Challenge Program
- 2010 Licensed Midwife Annual Report Summary
- Lab Accounts for Midwives
- ACOG News Release / Practice Bulletin
- 3/31/11 News Release: "Ob-Gyns and Midwives Seek to Improve Health Care for Women and Their Newborns: Groups Issue Collaborative Practice Statement”
- Practice Bulletin #115: "Ob Gyns Issue Less Restrictive VBAC Guidelines"
- Student Improper Practice Letter