The educational training and certification of those who carry the title "midwife" varies tremendously. Even more importantly, these variances directly impact safety and outcomes. The educational training of a midwife is one of the most influential factors in achieving a safe, healthy, live birth. ACOG  and AAP  recommend that any midwife attending out-of-hospital birth also be AMCB certified and fully integrated into the medcial system for situations that require transfer of care. AMCB certified midwives  (CNMs and CMs) have the highest standard of education available for U.S. midwives.
Navigating midwife certification titles and the educational training behind them can be confusing. Below are some of the more common certification titles, their educational training summaries, and other helpful information. Please also visit our Scope of Practice  page to learn more about how each credential and the corresponding scope of practice varies.
|Acronym||AMCB Certified||Formal Education Required||Minimum Educational Requirement||Professional Organization Affiliate|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||CNM||Yes||Yes||Graduate Level College Degree and AMCB Certification||ACNM & AMCB|
|CM||Yes||Yes||Graduate Level College Degree and AMCB Certification||ACNM & AMCB|
|Certified Professional Midwife||CPM||No||No||High School Diploma and Apprenticeship||NARM|
Direct Entry Midwife
**AMCB : American Midwifery Certification Board, organization responsible for certifying CNMs and CMs across the country
**ACNM : Amcerican College of Nurse Midwives, professional organization for CNMs
**NARM:  North American Registry of Midwives, Leadership organization for CPMs
A "Licensed Midwife" refers to a group of midwives whom are licensed by the state in which they practice. This title can potentially encompass many types of midwives with varying educational training experiences. In Michigan, the only type of midwife who can carry a state-issued license is a CNM at present. Other states have laws that lump many types of midwives into a "Licensed Midwife" category.
Link to Liz's Glossary