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A New York State licensed midwife is a health care provider who may care for the health needs of pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult women throughout their life span. Licensed midwives provide primary well woman health care including: gynecologic care, and care during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as care of the newborn following birth. In New York State, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department (SED) oversee the licensure and practice of midwifery and 49 other licensed health, business and design professions.

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New York licensed midwives must be graduates of midwifery educational programs that are registered by SED or programs determined by SED to be equivalent.

Licensed midwives who are also nurses may use the title "nurse midwives" or "certified nurse-midwife" (CNM). Others use the title "certified midwives" (CM's). All New York State licensed midwives must have passed a licensing examination approved by the State Education Department.  New York State licensed midwives are held to the same entry-level standard of theoretical knowledge and clinical practice and must demonstrate mastery of a formalized body of knowledge and skills in the areas of maternal and newborn health, primary care, well-woman care, pharmacology, and family planning. For consistency, the credential "LM" is used to identify New York State licensed midwives on New York State birth certificates.

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Midwifery is defined as the management of normal pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care, as well as primary preventive reproductive health care. To the extent they fall within that definition and within each midwife's professional competency, midwifery services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Annual exams including gynecological care, primary care, health screening and counseling with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention
  • History and physical examinations
  • First exams for young women
  • Family planning and prescribing of birth control methods
  • Pre-conception counseling
  • Well woman and adolescent gynecological care
  • Perimenopausal and postmenopausal counseling and care
  • Comprehensive maternity care including prenatal, labor, delivery, postpartum & newborn care
  • Order and interpret laboratory tests and diagnostic studies and devices and interpret results
  • Order durable medical equipment and medical devices
  • Hospital admission, rounds and discharge
  • Newborn circumcision
  • First assisting at surgical procedures
  • Obstetric and gynecologic screening procedures
  • Evaluation and treatment of common health problems
  • Public education activities
  • Referral to specialists

 

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Yes. New York State has legislated the term licensed midwife to encompass both forms of certification, Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Midwives. Both of the credentials meet the requirements for licensure. The CNM/CM credential is identical for New York State Licensed Midwives.

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No. Licensed midwives are not required to have or maintain a nursing license registration to practice midwifery.

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Yes. Licensed midwives may become certified by SED to prescribe medications and to order diagnostic tests within their scope of practice and consistent with their practice . Licensed midwives may obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number and thereby prescribe both controlled and non-controlled substances. Most midwives have met the requirements to prescribe, and those midwives are identified on our web site as "Certified with prescriptive privilege."

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No. A licensed midwife certified to prescribe and administer medications is not required to obtain a counter-signature from a physician.

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Yes. Licensed midwives have the authority by law to prescribe and administer drugs, immunizing agents, diagnostic tests and devices, and to order laboratory tests, as established by the board in accordance with the commissioner's regulations.

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No, with one exception,  New York State Law limits midwifery practice to the treatment of women with exception of partner treatment for the STD, STI Chlamydia Trachomatis (Ct) Under the guidelines for “Expedited Partner Therapy Guidelines for Health care Providers in NYS for Chlamydia Trachomatis” , Licensed midwives may treat male partners. www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/std/ept/guidelines_for_providers.htm

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Yes.  A licensed midwife certified to prescribe and administer medications may dispense medications to his or her patients with certain limitations. For example, there are limits on fees that may be charged by prescribers who also dispense. This subject is covered more fully in Education Law §6807.

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Yes. New York State licensed midwives who are certified to prescribe medications and have met a hospital's criteria for privileging and credentialing practitioners in the management of labor and delivery, may induce and augment labor by using both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic modalities. For other conditions that must be satisfied and procedures which must be followed relating to the augmentation or induction of labor, see Title 10 of NYCRR, Section 405.21(e) at www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10

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Licensed Midwives may practice in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, birth centers, clients' homes, and private professional offices.

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Yes. Licensed midwives provide services to women with disabilities.  Meeting the health care needs of the disabled woman is within the scope of practice for licensed midwives.

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  • Midwifery organizations may help identify members of their organizations that can assist you. Information is available from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) at www.acnm.org/ or NYS Association of Licensed Midwives (NYSALM) at www.newyorkmidwives.org. You may also search under "Midwives" in the yellow pages of your telephone book.
  • Please note: The State Board of Midwifery cannot refer you to a practitioner.
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You may verify that an individual is currently licensed and registered in New York State as a midwife through the Office of the Professions (OP) on-line verification service http:/node/66271.

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Licensed midwives are not supervised; they are independent practitionersNew York State law provides that licensed midwives shall have collaborative relationships with:

  1. a licensed physician who is board certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist by a national certifying body; or
  2. a licensed physician who practices obstetrics; or
  3. a hospital, that provides obstetrics through a licensed physician having obstetrical privileges at such institution, that provide for consultation, collaborative management and referral to address the health status and risks of his or her patients and that includes plans for emergency medical gynecological and/or obstetrical coverage.

A midwife shall maintain documentation of such collaborative relationships and shall make this information available to his or her patients.

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A collaborative relationship entails contacting, consulting and possibly referring according to the health status of the patient. The goal is to provide seamless access to the full range of health care for women and newborns. Examples of which include, but are not limited to electronic, telephone or personal consultation, collaborative management, shared management, referral or transfer of care.

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Possible collaborators include but are not limited to: Licensed midwives, licensed physicians of any specialty (Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrician-Gynecologists, Pediatricians, Neonatologists, Family Practice physicians, Anesthesiologists, Psychiatrists, Radiologists, General Internal Medicine and Medical and Surgical sub-specialties), hospitals and other health care providers such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, nutritionists, social workers, chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists.

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The following are examples of documentation of a collaborative relationship in multiple clinical settings.

  1. The medical record shall reflect the communication between a licensed midwife and collaborator.
  2. The patient will be provided an educational document which includes plans for emergency medical, gynecological and/or obstetrical care.
  3. The midwife may contact the referral hospital and or a collaborating physician. Documentation of plan(s) will be noted in medical record.
  4. Licensed Midwives, (CMN/CM) midwives may be employed at an Article 28 facility.
  5. Midwives may be self-employed or employed in practice groups in private practice or hospital based practice, where they may be credentialed by a medical care facility.
  6. Midwives may be affiliated with Birth Centers and have an established mechanism for patient transfer (Section 405.21 Perinatal services, (c) General requirements (9)(i))
     
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No. In accordance with Education Law, Article 140 effective November 1, 2010, licensed midwives do not require a written practice agreement for practice or reimbursement of midwifery services.

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No. Licensure in nursing is not a prerequisite to licensure as a midwife in New York State. However, only an individual licensed as both a nurse and a midwife may use the title "nurse midwife".  Likewise, a registered nurse who becomes licensed as a midwife need not maintain a current registration in nursing.

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Yes. Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, as amended and effective January 1, 2011, require a registered program in midwifery leading to a Masters degree or higher, and the equivalents of such programs. Detailed information on New York State licensure requirements in midwifery can be found on this site: /taxonomy/term/9586