Information for Midwives and Aspiring Midwives Who Didn't or Don't Intend to Attend a State-Approved School

Historically, the process of getting a WA state midwifery license for those educated through alternative routes has been somewhat challenging and unclear. MAWS has worked very hard for the past couple of years to open doors and help make a clear path to licensure for ANY qualified applicant that wishes to pursue licensure.

Who qualifies as being alternatively educated?

Because the Department of Health (DOH) determines the rules, the best we can do is give you an idea of which applicant category best applies to you. You can always contact Kathy Weed at the DOH for more information or specific questions : Kathy.Weed@doh.wa.gov .

The traditional route to licensure is someone who:

  • Attended a state-accredited/approved midwifery school and graduated from it. (Bastyr University is currently the only state-accredited midwifery school).
  • In order to be accredited by the state, their school regularly demonstrates that graduates must complete each required study subject as listed by the DOH here·
  • Is able to have their school send a transcript indicating their successful completion of these courses. Their diploma and transcript demonstrates that each study subject required by WA state law was adequately covered as part of their schooling.

Alternative applicants are likely to be someone who:

  • Took courses through different colleges or midwifery schools, not graduating from one specific school.
  • Midwives that did the PEP (Portfolio Education Process) route to their CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) credential and/or self studied.

All applicants (traditional or alternative) must:

  • Meet the specific clinical requirements (100+ births, 50 of these where you “participate in the care of”)
  • Have a midwifery education period of over 3 years (or over 2 years if you have previous nursing education)
  • Meet the requirements written in the law for the route through which they are applying

This year our efforts successfully brought back the "Midwife-In-Training" route to licensure that has been written in the law for several years, but was not being offered as an option the past few years. You can now find the application for this route to licensure on the DOH website here

Visit the following links to read the laws regarding this Midwife-In-Training route to licensure here: WAC 246-834-220
WAC 246-834-230
WAC 246-834-240

This year we are also able to celebrate a major success in clarifying a path to licensure for candidates who hold a CPM credential. Because WA law requires applicants to meet additional requirements, we succeeded in encouraging the DOH to clarify those additional requirements by outlining a "CPM+" route to licensure. According to law, this clarification must come in the form of a "rules writing" process. This rules writing process is expected to take a year, but could take more or less time. Once the "CPM+" route to licensure is written into the WA laws as rule, the "Midwife-In-Training" route to licensure will phase out. Kendra Pitzler at the DOH will keep us updated on the progress of the rules writimg process via the DOH Midwifery Listserv which you can join online here. From this DOH webpage, go to “Would you like to receive updates?” and sign up for these updates.

The new rules for the CPM+ route to licensure will be based on the research and forms which you can read here as well as the meetings that have been and will be happening regarding this process. While these documents may inform the future rules, it is important to note that since these forms are not yet part of the law and could still be modified in the rules writing process, these forms will not currently help you to get your license. At present and until future notice, you must apply for licensure through the traditional route or through the Midwife-In-Training route.