Successful completion of the NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure provides access to California licensure for midwives who have completed their clinical training and study and wish to qualify for the California licensing examination without graduating from an approved program.

Requirements for Licensure

The NMI Challenge Program is not equivalent to our Certificate Program. The cost of the Challenge Program is $7500. If a student changes programs within NMI, tuition does not transfer between the certificate program and the Challenge Program. To enroll, please Contact Us for an application.

Here are the requirements and process for the NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure:                                  

1. Previous completion of a formally sanctioned midwifery credential                                       

State-issued credential allowing the practice of midwifery; or National midwifery certification agency-issued credential (NARM-issued CPM/Certified Professional Midwife, or ACNM-issued CNM/Certified Nurse Midwife & CM/Certified Midwife); or    International government-sanctioned midwifery credential.

2. Fulfillment of midwifery didactic requirements

Complete National Midwifery Institute gap analysis process to confirm completion of academic midwifery requirements consistent with California Midwifery Practice Act. (B&P Code 2512.5 and 2513).
National Midwifery Institute administers a written examination to confirm the Midwife-Applicant’s comprehension of core midwifery knowledge and licensing requirements for California midwives. (B&P Code 2513)
National Midwifery Institute issues a CML-Challenge Program academic compilation transcript of completed didactic requirements.                  

3. Verification of the currency of experience requirements (CAB&PCode2513b and Title 16 1379.15)

 All qualifying experience meets the currency definition of having occurred within ten years prior to the Midwife-Applicant’s date of application to the NMI CML-Challenge Program.
At least 50% of the qualifying experience meets the currency definition of having occurred within five years prior to the Midwife-Applicant’s date of application to the NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure.
All qualifying currency of experience is verified by a licensed physician and a licensed midwife (LM or CNM).
NMI issues a compilation transcript of clinical experience that confirms the verification of all currency requirements.

4. Fulfillment of minimum primary midwifery experience requirements (Title 16 1379.15c and B&P Code 2513b)                      

  • 20 new antepartum visits
  • 75 return antepartum visits
  • 20 labor management experiences
  • 20 deliveries
  • 20 newborn assessments
  • 40 postpartum visits within the first five days of birth 40 postpartum/family planning/gynecology visits                         

All qualifying experience is verified by both a licensed physician and a licensed midwife (LM or CNM).
NMI issues a compilation transcript of clinical experience that itemizes completed, verified clinical experience in compliance with minimum primary midwifery experience requirements.


History of NMI's California Challenge Mechanism

The 1993 California Midwifery Practice Act provided legal allowance for a challenge mechanism to midwifery licensure. National Midwifery Institute was granted medical board approval for a proposal to administer NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure.

From 2006 through 2014, National Midwifery Institute provided the Challenge Program for over fifty CPMs who successfully completed licensure in California. The NMI Challenge was suspended due to state legislative changes. Program Directors submitted a revised proposal for the NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure to the Medical Board of California in early 2017; the proposal has not yet been approved.

The 2006 NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure included the following requirements: 

  • At least half of all experiences were required to occur within five years preceding application to NMI Challenge Program for Midwifery Licensure. 
  • Students pursuing the Challenge Program were required to apply and qualify for NARM CPM certification, including NARM experience requirements and skills assessment. Application to NARM and related fees was the responsibility of the student. 
  • In addition to NARM experience requirements, students were required to complete the experience requirements identified in the CA Midwifery Practice Act. Both NARM and CA experience requirements are included in NMI graduation requirements. Students who earned their NARM CPM credential prior to enrolling with NMI were required to demonstrate completion of NMI clinical experience requirements. 
  • All students pursuing the NMI Challenge Program for California Midwifery Licensure were required to have their clinical experience documentation verified by a licensed physician/surgeon and a licensed midwife or certified nurse-midwife. Experience had to be documented on forms provided by NMI. Students were responsible for making arrangements with verifiers. Verification was documented and submitted to NMI. Verifiers were provided a stipend for their services to students of NMI. 
  • Students qualified to take the NMI Challenge Program Written Examination upon successful completion of NMI clinical experience requirements, verification of clinical experience, and NARM Skills Assessments. 
  • Midwives completing the NMI Challenge Program qualified for the California licensing exam, aka NARM exam.
 
 

“Now I’m much more aware of the psychological/spiritual aspects of not just pregnancy, birth and postpartum, but of midwifery care itself.”

~ an NMI Student

To learn more, view the NMI Handbook.