This post will be updated with information as we research and discover more. The information listed should be verified by your own personal research as state licensing laws may change.
The practice of midwifery is legal in the state of California. Midwives practice in all settings: hospitals, free standing birth centers, private practice, medical offices, and in homes. Primarily nurse midwives practice in hospitals.
What is great about California is that midwifery is legal and women have options to various birth settings. However, there are a few important issues:
– There are not enough midwives to provide services for the women of California
– 10 schools of those approved to train licensed midwives are currently accepting students
– Only 1 approved school is physically located in California to train licensed midwives
– 3 schools located in California are approved to train nurse midwives and only 2 are currently accepting students
This means that although the laws of California support midwifery care, it is difficult to receive an education and be trained in order to obtain a state license as either a licensed midwife or nurse midwife.
Open more midwifery schools and midwifery programs in California. This is a mission of CPI. We will keep you posted on our progress. Currently, we are actively taking the steps to develop midwifery programs and schools in California. (click for update)
Why is this important
There are too many reasons why this is important…we will just keep adding to this list.
1. If we can’t educate and train midwives than we won’t have more midwives
2. Birth outcomes are improved with midwives so more midwives are needed
3. The cost of birth is lower with midwives caring for families
4. It’s not right that midwifery students lack access to education required by the state of California in California
5. Poor birth outcomes for African American families will change when Black midwives are trained
6. (We will post more reasons…)
If you wish to study midwifery and practice in the state of California then you have two options:
1. License Midwife (LM) (click licensing board)
View application to be licensed midwife in California
2. Nurse Midwife (NM also CNM) (click licensing board)
View application to be apply for license as nurse midwife in California
– A Description of the nurse midwife from nursing board
– You may find this sheet useful to compare the differences between the two licenses.
California Midwifery Groups
Schools for License Midwives
Verify these schools at the California licensing board
1. Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery (only school located in California)
** International School of Midwifery (Not currently accepting students due to accreditation process)
Schools for Nurse Midwives
Verify these schools at the California nursing board
1. University of San Francisco – (A leading accredited program training nurse midwives)