The doctorate of nursing practice and entry into midwifery practice: Issues for consideration and debate.

Affiliation

University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego, CA, 92093, USA. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The American College of Nurse-Midwives represents two cadres of midwifery professionals: certified nurse-midwives who are educated in both midwifery and nursing, and certified midwives who are educated in the discipline of midwifery. Certified nurse-midwives are designated by nursing professional organizations as advanced practice nurses. The United States nursing profession is advancing toward adoption of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, as the entry into practice credential for advanced practice nursing. There is no evidence to date to demonstrate differences in clinical practice outcomes between certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives. A secondary analysis of data from a series of compensation and benefits surveys did not demonstrate differences in salaries between respondents who held a practice-focused doctoral degree compared to a master's degree. The requirement of the practice-focused nursing doctoral degree for entry into midwifery practice for certified nurse-midwives would require additional evidence to support both a professional and a business case for such a change in policy. It would also require consideration of the professional and business impact that such a policy would have on certified midwives who do not hold the nursing credential. Equivalent entry into practice pathways would need to be developed.

Keywords

Doctor of nursing practice,Financial compensation,Midwifery education,

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