Nurse Midwife Salary Guide

A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). These master’s level practitioners specialize in caring for mothers and their infants during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. They also counsel and treat women from adolescence through menopause, addressing areas such as contraception, fertility and menopause. If you’re interested in this rewarding career, explore our nurse midwife salary guide to learn more about the compensation you can expect in this role.

How Do You Become a CNM?

Certified nurse midwives must complete a high level of education, including graduate studies. Candidates must first complete an undergraduate program to become an RN. Most candidates earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to meet the requirements for further graduate study. However, those who previously earned an associate degree can later complete a bridge program at some institutions.

Take the NCLEX Exam

After completing an undergraduate program, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) exam and apply for state licensure to become a registered nurse. You may want to spend time working as an RN to familiarize yourself with the clinical setting and gain valuable experience before going back to school.

Complete a Graduate Program

CNM candidates must earn an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing, but some candidates may pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Midwifery programs that confer
eligibility on the graduate to take the national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) must be accredited or pre-accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).

In November 2022, only 43 such programs existed nationwide, according to the ACNM. These programs adhere to the core curriculum required for entering midwifery practice and prepare graduates for the CNM exam. Each program has unique admission requirements and offers different pathways and degrees, but it generally takes three years to complete.

Receive Your CNM Credential

You must pass the certification exam to practice as a CNM in the United States. The AMCB administers the exam, consisting of 175 multiple-choice questions about the antepartum,
intrapartum and postpartum periods of pregnancy, and primary care, gynecology and newborn care. The certification fee is $500, and you must renew it every five years by completing three AMCB modules and at least 20 hours of continuing education credits or by retaking the exam.

If you’re ready to earn a nurse midwife salary, your next step is to investigate your state’s accredited programs and certification requirements. You might also want to explore available CNM jobs in the regions where you plan to practice. While it requires time and dedication to get the education you need to become a certified nurse midwife, most practitioners report satisfaction with their salary and a sense of caring for their community members.

Average Nurse Midwife Salary


The average salary for a Nurse Midwife is $69.86 per hour.

Last updated on March 1, 2024. Based on active jobs on

Last updated on March 1, 2024. Information based on active jobs on and pay data from BLS and around the web.

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How Can You Earn More as a CNM?

If you’re interested in earning even more in this in-demand nursing field, start with the following salary-boosting ideas:

  • Look for lucrative incentives: Many hospitals and agencies offer generous sign-on bonuses for in-demand specialties and hard-to-fill geographic areas. Some companies
    may offer bonuses for key performance indicators such as high patient satisfaction scores. Review the whole package beyond salary when deciding whether a new role is worth your while. 

  • Be selective about shifts: If you don’t mind working evenings, weekends and holidays, you
    generally make more money for shifts that usually come with incentives because no one wants to work them. Employers might also offer bonus pay for certain hard-to-fill areas within the facility, so keep an eye out for those opportunities.

  • Seek subspecialty training in areas of interest: You could potentially command a higher salary by focusing on specialized areas like neonatology, lactation and breastfeeding
    services, genetics and risk assessment, maternal-fetal medicine or one of several other subspecialty areas within the midwifery field.

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Nurse Midwife FAQs

Can earning a degree improve my salary as a Nurse Midwife?

Yes, advanced education often opens new career paths that usually lead to higher salaries. Nurse midwives may benefit financially from pursuing a Certified Midwife (CM) or Bachelor of Midwifery (BSM).

Where can I learn more about working as a Nurse Midwife?

Take a look at Vivian's Nurse Midwife Career Guide for more information, including required education, responsibilities, pros and cons and more.