Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) Salary

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As advanced practice registered nurses and experts in the art of midwifery, nurse-midwives support women throughout their lifespan by providing well-woman, gynecologic, pregnancy, and postpartum care, as well as care of the newborn.

Drawing from their advanced education, certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) partner with women to provide a compassionate, patient-centered model of care to women from all walks of life, and all stages of life. Certified nurse-midwives are not only recognized as some of the most forward-thinking healthcare providers in the United States today, but they are also among the best paid.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) reported that certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) earned an average annual salary of $114,152 in 2010 (the most recent salary data available through the ACNM). The 2010 ACNM Compensation and Benefits Survey also revealed that salaries for CNMs increased nearly $10,000 since its previous 2007 survey, while the overall level of education and experience of survey participants also increased.

A 2015 Medscape (part of WebMD) Nurse Salary Report revealed that nurse-midwives earn a salary competitive to that of their advanced practice nurse counterparts. The survey found that nurse-midwives earned an average salary of $99,000, which was in line with both nurse practitioners ($102,000) and clinical nurse specialists ($95,000).

An Analysis of Certified Nurse-Midwife Salaries by State

A 2014 ACNM report combined statistics from both the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the ACNM to reveal average salaries for CNMs, by state. The top state for CNMs in terms of salary potential was Minnesota, where CNMs earned an average annual salary of $116,420 in 2014, followed closely by California, which revealed an average annual salary of $113,070.

Other states to rank among the top in the nation in terms of average CNM salaries in 2014 included:

  • Wisconsin: $111,480
  • New Hampshire: $108,360
  • Massachusetts: $107,710
  • North Dakota: $107,220
  • Arizona: $103,980
  • Alaska: $103,980
  • Washington: $103,460

According to May 2014 BLS statistics alone (not factoring in ACNM survey data), the top state for CNM salaries was Iowa, where CNMs earned an average, annual salary of $128,120, followed by:

  • California: $127,940
  • North Dakota: $121,790
  • Oregon: $113,480
  • New Hampshire: $111,700

The BLS also revealed the top-paying metropolitan areas for CNM salaries during the same time:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $139,290
  • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: $132,750
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA: $129,210
  • San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA: $125,900
  • Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX: $114,640
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA: $108,960
  • Camden, NJ: $108,430

In the table below, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed salary analysis for certified nurse-midwives in the 36 states that reported on their earnings in 2014:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Alaska
50
101350
Arizona
Estimate not Released
98170
California
450
127940
Colorado
120
96790
Connecticut
100
99730
Delaware
40
88540
Florida
300
86210
Georgia
260
91920
Illinois
150
88550
Indiana
80
76390
Iowa
50
128120
Kentucky
190
93080
Maine
50
97530
Maryland
160
102710
Massachusetts
320
103600
Michigan
120
95560
Minnesota
210
94690
Missouri
60
86530
New Hampshire
40
111700
New Jersey
170
109460
New Mexico
100
95900
New York
450
97460
North Carolina
160
89100
North Dakota
40
121790
Ohio
170
94070
Oregon
100
113480
Pennsylvania
150
83670
Rhode Island
Estimate not released
101840
South Carolina
60
80440
Tennessee
40
71000
Texas
190
103440
Utah
Estimate not released
81870
Vermont
40
93390
Virginia
120
81980
Washington
80
95860
Wisconsin
100
93640

Certified Nurse-Midwife Salary Statistics, by Setting/Industry

According to the ACNM, salaries for CNMs often vary considerably based on:

  • Type of practice setting: CNMs may work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, birth centers, health clinics and attending home births.
  • Geographic location: Similar to other professionals, CNMs may earn more or less than their colleagues, depending on the part of the country in which they work.
  • Urban or rural location: The salary of CNMs often varies depending on whether the setting they are working in is urban or rural.
  • Care provided: Depending on the employer, the type and scope of care provided by CNMs may differ (full-scope women’s health services, prenatal care, gynecological care, etc.), thus affecting their earning potential.

It comes as no surprise that the top-paying setting/industry for CNMs in May 2014 was general medical and surgical hospitals, where the average salary was $104,400, followed by outpatient care centers, at $97,690 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the vast majority of CNMs work in hospitals.

Physician offices came in third, with CNMs in this setting earning an average annual salary of $96,820.

Nurse-Midwife Salary Potential: Other Factors to Consider

All states regulate and license CNMs and recognize them as having a scope of practice that includes providing perinatal care of the mother and newborn. However, a number of states fully respect and support CNM autonomy, granting them prescriptive authority and allowing them to practice independently without the need for restrictive collaborative physician agreements on file. Certified nurse-midwives in these independent practice states have professional opportunities that include the ability to establish or join independent and partner practices, and therefore have the potential for higher earnings.

The following states allow CNMs to practice independently, without the need to enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a physician:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Washington D.C.

A few other states require a collaborative agreement only when prescribing medications and controlled substances:

  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • West Virginia

CNMs may also find that support and recognition of nurse-midwifery among their state’s residents affects their ability to earn a higher salary. The ACNM reported the following states as having the highest percentage of CNM-attended births as of 2012:

  • New Mexico: 27.02 percent
  • Vermont: 20.70 percent
  • Maine: 18.57 percent
  • New Hampshire: 18.46 percent
  • Oregon: 16.17 percent
  • Georgia: 15.40 percent
  • Alaska: 14.56 percent
  • Massachusetts: 13.51 percent

The number of CNMs in a state may suggest the availability of high-paying jobs in nurse-midwifery. The ACNM found that the following states had the highest number of practicing CNMs as of February 2014:

  • California: 1,026
  • New York: 973
  • Florida: 635
  • Illinois: 443
  • Georgia: 441
  • Pennsylvania: 426
  • Texas: 411
  • North Carolina: 373
  • Washington: 362

The density of CNMs may prove to be even more indicative of practice opportunities for nurse-midwives than the total number of CNMs per state. The ACNM reported the following states as having the highest concentration of practicing CNMs per 100,000 residents (in no particular order).

  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Alaska
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Washington D.C.

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