What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Nurse Midwife?

A primary advantage of being a nurse midwife is the ability to focus health care on pregnant women and the delivery of new babies. Drawbacks include perceived deficiencies relative to mainstream obstetrics and the required investment in education to get a career.

Nurse midwives enjoy the chance to provide female reproductive care and childbirth support. The chance to put one's passion for women and infant care into a career is a key benefit. Nurse midwives also earn substantial income. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average annual salary for nurse midwives was $92,230 as of May 2013. Ten percent of midwives earned salaries at or above $120,540 per year.

A nurse midwife must invest much more time and money in education than a conventional registered nurse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that a master's degree is a common requirement. A midwife can also earn certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board to gain credibility.

A midwife is on-call day and night when a patient goes into labor. The close relationship between the midwife and patients makes it less likely that one can defer childbirth to a partner in a practice. Even though modern-day midwives are trained professionals, they have to deal with misconceptions that midwifery care is outdated based on old applications.