"I really appreciate your support and constant clarifications on everything." ~an NMI student

Do I have to be a nurse to be a midwife? 

No. A midwife may be certified by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and/or licensed in many states without any nursing background.  However, the American College of Nurse Midwives does offer certification for nurses wishing to pursue careers in midwifery. For more information about our graduates' qualifications, visit Direct Entry Midwifery or Glossary of Terms

Can I get NARM certified (NARM CPM) if I finish this program?

Graduates of National Midwifery Institute, Inc. qualify for the MEAC route to the NARM Certified Professional Midwife credential. MEAC program grads DO NOT take the NARM Skills exam. The MEAC route offers an extremely abbreviated application process with a savings of $700. The CPM credential is awarded upon graduates’ passing the NARM written exam.

Can I get a degree from National Midwifery Institute, Inc.?

NMI is a vocational midwifery training program. NMI is not a degree granting or credit granting program. 

Can I get a license in California if I finish this program?

Our program has been designed to meet California’s midwifery licensing requirements, which meet or exceed those of most other states. NMI has been approved by the California Medical Board and NMI graduates are eligible to sit the California licensing exam.

Can I legally practice or become licensed in any US state if I finish this program? 

Over twenty-eight states currently regulate direct-entry midwifery. Almost all of these states license or certify midwives by using either the NARM CPM credential or the NARM CPM Written Examination. While graduation from our program and passing the NARM CPM exam leads to a national credential, application for additional state licensure is required in many states. State licensing or certification applications are made separately from application to NMI or to NARM, with regulations specific to each state. Visit  Certification and Licensure for more information. 

Can I practice abroad after graduating?

Graduates of National Midwifery Institute qualify for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) Written Examination, which if passed leads to the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. The CPM credential is a United States midwifery credential and does not translate to legal practice abroad. Students who graduate from NMI and obtain their CPM credential must determine whether further certification and/or licensure is required to legally practice should they desire to practice midwifery abroad.

How much does NMI’s program cost?

Heart & Hands and Study Group Course Work fees, administrative fees and preceptor fees total $19,400. The cost of housing, books, materials and equipment are not included. Application to NMI is $30. For more information, visit our Tuition and Fees page. 

Do I need a computer to successfully complete NMI’s program?

NMI students need access to a computer and email, with the ability to send and receive email attachments. Course work may be completed on a PC or Mac computer using these applications: Word, OpenOffice, Pages, Acrobat for pdf.

Does the program find me a preceptor? 

NMI instructors and administrator may offer references and/or speak to a potential preceptor at the request of a student. Students may aspire to work with existing precepting faculty, or with any midwife meeting the criteria for precepting faculty. Students interview with potential preceptors and are ultimately responsible for establishing that relationship. 

How long does it take to complete the program? 

While the NMI curriculum was designed to take a full time student three years to complete, students must complete the program in seven years. Extensions are granted in the form of Leave of Absence for health or family needs. Each period of Leave of Absence is limited to one year. Students are allowed no more than ten point five (10.5) years to complete the program and graduate (150% x 7 years equals 10.5 years to determine the maximum time frame allowed to finish the program).

Do I have to live in the San Francisco Bay Area in order to participate? 

No. Although NMI was founded as Midwifery Institute of California, it is now a correspondence program. Students may participate from a large number of U.S. States by utilizing our modular format for course work, and by making the necessary agreements with an approved preceptor.

Alphabet Soup?

If you're new to midwifery, the acronyms can get confusing.  See our glossary of terms.

What does the NMI logo represent?

The National Midwifery Institute logo is a pomegranate. With its tart red juice surrounding hundreds of plump, glistening seeds, the pomegranate has long been used to represent and celebrate fertility. A man is challenged to prove himself a worthy husband by feeding his beloved a pomegranate, seed by seed without losing a drop of juice. May all fertility be met with the tender patience and love of a perfect match.

More Questions?

Contact us. We enjoy helping students find their way.


To learn more, view the NMI Handbook.