Education Law

Article 140, Midwifery

Effective November 1, 2010

§6950. Introduction. | §6951. Definition of practice of midwifery. | §6952. Practice of midwifery. | §6953. Use of title "midwife". | §6954. State board of midwifery. | §6955. Requirements for a professional license. | §6956. Prior nurse-midwifery certification. | §6957. Exempt persons. | §6958. Limited permits.

§6950 Introduction.

This article applies to the profession of midwifery. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article.


§6951 Definition of practice of midwifery.

  1. The practice of the profession of midwifery is defined as the management of normal pregnancies, child birth and postpartum care as well as primary preventive reproductive health care of essentially healthy women, and shall include newborn evaluation, resuscitation and referral for infants. A midwife shall have collaborative relationships with (i) a licensed physician who is board certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist by a national certifying body or (ii) a licensed physician who practices obstetrics and has obstetric privileges at a general hospital licensed under article twenty-eight of the public health law or (iii) a hospital, licensed under article twenty-eight of the public health law, that provides obstetrics through a licensed physician having obstetrical privileges at such institution, that provide for consultation, collaborative management and referral to address the health status and risks of his or her patients and that include plans for emergency medical gynecological and/or obstetrical coverage. A midwife shall maintain documentation of such collaborative relationships and shall make information about such collaborative relationships available to his or her patients. Failure to comply with the requirements found in this subdivision shall be subject to professional misconduct provisions as set forth in article one hundred thirty of this title.
  2. A licensed midwife shall have the authority, as necessary, and limited to the practice of midwifery, to prescribe and administer drugs, immunizing agents, diagnostic tests and devices, and to order laboratory tests, as established by the board in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. A midwife shall obtain a certificate from the department upon successfully completing a program including a pharmacology component, or its equivalent, as established by the commissioner's regulations prior to prescribing under this section.
  3. Any reference to midwifery, midwife, certified nurse-midwifery or certified nurse-midwife, nurse-midwifery or nurse-midwife under the provisions of this article, this chapter or any other law, shall refer to and include the profession of midwifery and a licensed midwife, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

§6952 Practice of midwifery.

Only a person licensed or exempt under this article or authorized by any other section of law shall practice midwifery.


§6953 Use of title "midwife".

Only a person licensed or exempt under this article shall use the title "midwife". Only a person licensed under both this article and article one hundred thirty-nine of this chapter may use the title "nurse-midwife".


§6954 State board of midwifery.

  1. The state board of midwifery shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents on matters of professional licensing and professional conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this title. The board shall be composed of thirteen individuals. Initial appointments to the board shall be such that the terms shall be staggered. However, no members shall serve more than two terms.
    1.  
      1. Seven members of the board shall be persons licensed or exempt under this section.
      2. One member of the board shall be an educator of midwifery.
    2. Two members of the board shall be individuals who are licensed physicians who are also certified as obstetrician/gynecologists by a national certifying body.
    3. One member of the board shall be an individual licensed as a physician who practices family medicine including obstetrics.
    4. One member of the board shall be an individual licensed as a physician who practices pediatrics.
    5. One member of the board shall be an individual not possessing either licensure or training in medicine, midwifery, pharmacology or nursing and shall represent the public at large.
  2. For purposes of this article, "board" means the state board of midwifery created under this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

§6955 Requirements for a professional license.

To qualify for a license as a midwife, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Application: file an application with the department.
  2. Education: satisfactorily;
    1. complete educational preparation (degree or diploma granting) for the practice of nursing, followed by or concurrently with educational preparation for the practice of midwifery in accordance with the commissioner's regulations, or
    2. submit evidence of license or certification, the educational preparation for which is determined by the department to be equivalent to the foregoing, from any state or country, satisfactory to the department and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations, or
    3. complete a program determined by the department to be equivalent to the foregoing and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations.
  3. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the department and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations.
  4. Age: be at least twenty-one years of age.
  5. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department.
  6. Citizenship or immigration status: be a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.
  7. Fee: pay a fee of one hundred ninety dollars to the department for admission to a department conducted examination for an initial license, a fee of one hundred dollars for each re-examination, a fee of one hundred fifteen dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination, a fee of one hundred eighty dollars for each triennial registration period and a fee of seventy dollars for a limited permit.

§6956 Prior nurse-midwifery certification.

Any individual who is certified as a nurse-midwife pursuant to section twenty-five hundred sixty of the public health law before June first, nineteen hundred ninety-six, shall be deemed to be licensed as a midwife under this article; provided that each such certified nurse-midwife shall, prior to that date, submit evidence of such certification to the department together with the appropriate fee required by subdivision seven of section sixty-nine hundred fifty-five of this article. Any individual certified as a nurse-midwife pursuant to section twenty-five hundred sixty of the public health law (i) may practice under that section until it is repealed, but (ii) shall not practice pursuant to this article until after receiving approval from the commissioner and submitting the fee required by subdivision seven of section sixty-nine hundred fifty-five of this article.


§6957 Exempt persons.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect, prevent or in any manner expand or limit any duty or responsibility of a licensed physician from practicing midwifery or affect or prevent a medical student or midwifery student in clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed physician or board certified obstetrician/gynecologist or licensed midwife practicing pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-five hundred sixty of the public health law in pursuance of an educational program registered by the department from engaging in such practice.


§6958 Limited permit.

  1. A limited permit to practice midwifery may be granted for a period not to exceed twelve months to an individual who has to the satisfaction of the department met all the requirements of section sixty-nine hundred fifty-five of this article, but has not yet passed the examination required by subdivision three of such section.
  2. A limited permit shall entitle the holder to practice midwifery only under the direct supervision of a licensed physician who is authorized under section sixty-nine hundred fifty-one of this article or a licensed midwife.
Last Updated: November 2, 2010