Student Midwife Q & A

To become a midwife, do you have to become a RN first?!


There are two kinds of midwives; Certified Nurse-Midwives & Certified Professional Midwives.CNM's  work primarily in the hospital.   But CPMs work at birth centers and at homes and do strictly low risk birth. They are not nurses, but it does normally take about 4 years to complete all of the requirements.

CORD offers training opportunities for CPM's, so no nurses training is required.  

How do I get my academic training?

We have an online course and are working with a local community college that we anticipate will be available 2018. 

Much of your accedemics training is online for the first 1/3 of the program which should take about one year.  If you live in the SC tri-state area, you will also have quarterly workshops in Travelers Rest or at CWB in Simpsonville, SC.


Most students will learn faster if they have the opportunity to volunteer with a midwife during this study time.


After this first year/volunteer time, you may apply for domestic placement through CORD.


What is domestic placement?

Domestic placement is the location where you will implement your clinical skills.  Since you'll be training for home and birth center care, the foundation of your traing begins there.  


You will need to attend 100 births before you are considered proficient in those skills.  Ideally, your first 40 must be outside of the hospital setting and in the US.  The additional 60 birth can be anywhere and we offer wonderful international placement opportunities. 



Is it like an internships program?

Yes, it's very similar except most students are not delivering in a hospital setting.  You will be working alongside of a NARM qualified Certified Professional Midwife.  You will be on-call to attend births and work weekly hours for prenatal care, office assistance and generalized business promotion events.  


You can fill out an application at any time after enrolling in an academics program.  Some centers/midwives prefer that you have a lot of the course completed and maintain good grades prior .


We recommend that you seek volunteer opportunities as soon as you decide to become a CPM.  Volunteering is a valuable reference for future clinical placement.  CWB starts volunteers on our childbirth class days.


So how much international travel is necessary?

International placement will depend on how many births you get in the US. If you get 100 during domestic placement, than won't need any international births. You will appreciate international placement because you get to use a lot more of your emergency skills.  And, it's fun.

Where do I apply to begin the curriculum?

Please email an  inquiry to  Subject: Midwife Student

Where do I apply to begin volunteering until I have completed my first academic phase?

You may call your local midwives and birth centers, but we highly recommend attending our pre-clinical webinar.  First impressions are the most important and we'd like to give you some pointers.  Please email and inquiry to Subject: CORD Webinar

Are there prerequisites?

Not necessarily, but all midwives like for students to have some experience and/or doula training.  Some midwives even prefer students with another degree or some nurses training.  It's all very individual.   CORD recommends doula training, medical terminology, CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.

Where can I get my doula training?

There are several national organization and two local opportunities in SC.    If you need to choose a national program, CORD prefers CAPPA training.  

Locally, we  recommend Dar la Luz Labor Doula and Doula to Be training courses.

I am already enrolled in a different midwifery study, can I apply for clinical placement with CORD? 

Absolutely.  'When Midwifery Grows, Everyone Wins'

I am a physician, nurse or physician resident.  Can I apply for clinical placement? 

Yes.  We understand how difficult it can be to gain non-interventionist experience.  


As a physician or nurse, your training was uniquely different from CPM training, and we appreciate any provider who wants to learn more about the midwife approach to birth.  

How does CWB choose students for their domestic placement apprenticeships in Simpsonville, SC? 


CWB requires that students are in phase 2 of their academics program with at least a "B" average before they can be an officially licensed apprentice.  They must also get a letter of recommendation from their academics program or any prior midwives.  Students must submit the student application with fees.   


Students are almost exclusively chosen from those that have actively participated in student volunteer and legislative days. We consider these opportunities as 'working interviews.'


Can I sign up with another midwife as preceptor and then attend births with another CWB midwife?


No, your preceptor is in charge of your training and you are obligated to her first and foremost.  If you would like to apprentice primarily at CWB, you must be licensed by them as an apprentice.   At the end of your training or if another midwife has a need, you might be given leave to assist other midwives.  These circumstances are rare and are considered on a birth-by-birth basis. 


Do missions or international placements count towards my training?


Yes and  No.  International training is a wonderful opportunity where you can get a lot of births in a short amount of time.  CORD recommends that these birth occur after you have completed at least 40 stateside births and most of your academics.  Because much of your experience internationally could be emergency training, you’ll benefit more after you have completed the ‘normal’ birth training.

The minimal birth requirements for NARM certification is 40 stateside births.  However, standard recommendations are generally accepted as a minimum of 100 births before you are completely proficient.  That’s where these trips become a tremendous benefit.  If you get your 40 births, which include at least 20 managements with a direct preceptor; the international training will take you through those last and finishing touches to beginning your career with confidence and experience.  

Does CWB accept prior International or Missions work as part of their observations towards national accreditation or as a prerequisite to apprenticeship?

Absolutely not.   International experience is great, but you are training to be a home birth or birth center midwife in the United States.  Much of international training is emergency based and should be used at the end of your apprenticeship.   NARM requires that you get a letter of recommendation from your preceptor and that’s where these trips may help you become more proficient.

So what's the financial obligations for training? Is financial aid available?

Before University based program begins, there is no financial aid. The curriculum is currently very reasonable (less than $2,000 for the entire course work). Like any career training, the largest expense will be living without an income while you are in school.  Also be prepared for daily travel expenses to client homes and the center.  Eventually you will spend 2 full days a week while also being on-call for births and postpartum care.  Some weeks may take up 4 or 5 days.  


International placement charges will differ depending the location and time of year.  We anticipate a monthly placement costing about $3500 for your ticket and lodging.  Some food meals are provided, but you will need to plan for living expenses, meals, entertainment, souvenirs and some local travel during your placement time.  Most international placement last 2-4 weeks.