2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

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  2. 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

In 2020 we celebrate the world’s 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives who make up half of the global health workforce – providing vital health care everywhere, as they have been doing for centuries.

Together, they are the cornerstone of the strong, resilient health systems needed to achieve universal health coverage. They prescribe life-saving drugs, administer vaccines, provide family planning advice, and assure expert care during childbirth. Without them, millions of mothers and children have no one to diagnose illnesses, dispense treatment, or assist at births.


A certified nurse midwife is an advanced practice nurse with either a master's or doctorate degree. Most certified nurse midwives have a labor and delivery nursing background prior to graduate school. Certified nurse midwives care for women during pregnancy, childbirth and provide a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence to beyond menopause. They can also care for healthy newborns for the first 28 days of life.

FranU Assistant Professor of Nursing and Midwife Amanda Olinde said that her favorite part of being a midwife is supporting women throughout the labor process and advocating for evidence-based care. “It's an amazing and rewarding career. You get the opportunity to care for and educate women and their families. Midwives have the opportunity to make a difference in the health and experiences that women have by promoting wellness and normal birth. Midwives focus on what is most important to each woman’s unique situation and values and provide patients with information and resources to make informed decisions.”

Olinde explained that about 9 percent of all hospital births in the US are attended by midwives, but midwives can care for laboring women in free-standing birth centers as well as home births.

There are four types of midvives: Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives and Traditional/Unlicensed Midwives.

Certified Nurse Midwives or nurse midwives, have completed both nursing school and an additional graduate degree in midwifery. They’re qualified to work in all birth settings, including hospitals, homes, and birth centers. They can also write prescriptions in all 50 states. CNMs can also provide other primary and reproductive healthcare.

Certified Midwives have the same graduate-level training and education as certified nurse midwives, except they have a background in a health field other than nursing. They take the same exam as nurse midwives through the American College of Nurse Midwives. CMs are currently only licensed to practice in Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Maine, and Rhode Island.

Certified Professional Midwives work exclusively in settings outside of hospitals, such as homes and birth centers. These midwives have completed coursework, an apprenticeship, and a national certifying exam. CPMs are licensed to practice in 33 states, though many of them work in states where they’re not recognized.

Traditional/Unlicensed Midwives have chosen not to pursue licensure as a midwife in the United States, but still serve birthing families in home settings. Their training and background vary. Often, traditional/unlicensed midwives serve specific communities, such as indigenous communities or religious populations, like the Amish.


With approximately 4 million registered nurses in the United States, nursing is our country’s largest healthcare profession (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2020).

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a faster-than-average 12 percent growth in nursing jobs by 2028. This percentage translates to potentially more than 371,000 new nursing jobs in the coming years.

An article written in the NursingCenter explained, “Over the last few months, nurses, alongside other health care providers, have been lauded for their courage and commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The role that nurses are playing during this public health crisis underscores the importance and critical need for a sustained workforce. While registered nursing is expected to be one of the leading occupations in terms of job growth, it may not be enough to offset the high numbers of nurses exiting the profession.”

Registered nurses typically enjoy a high level of job satisfaction, according to the latest nursing statistics. In a 2019 American Nurse Today survey, 8 in 10 nurses said they were satisfied with their current jobs. Approximately the same number said they would become a nurse again. Nursing statistics also reveal that nurses are held in high esteem by the public. For the 18th year in a row, the public ranked nursing as the most honest and ethical profession in a 2020 Gallup poll.


The School of Nursing faculty and staff at FranU are committed to providing an innovative, student-centered learning environment where students can develop to their full potential. By linking learning and service through a Catholic Social Justice framework, members of the School of Nursing learning community strive to meet the healthcare needs of the communities they serve.

FranU has nearly 100 years of educating and forming nurses for their healthcare careers. The degrees offered are:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Pre-licensure BSN Program and Post-Licensure RN-BSN Program

Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nurse Anesthesia

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