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Do midwives have the legal right to prescribe?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Medical Licensing

Due to the flexibility of training with which a person can enter the field of midwifery, confusion often accompanies the question: can midwives prescribe medication?

Midwives are not doctors no matter what their medical history, background and training happen to be, but they do still have certain rights and abilities. Prescribing medication is one of them, but not every midwife can do this.

Licensure for midwifery

The Pennsylvania Bulletin examines the rules and regulations governing all medical bodies, including midwifery. In accordance with state law, midwives may have the legal ability to write prescriptions based on their licensing status.

If a midwife does not have a license, they cannot prescribe medication. Not all midwives have licenses, as this is not a legal requirement in Pennsylvania. Some learn through apprenticeship programs and lack formal education, but still, have the legal ability to practice midwifery.

To gain a license in midwifery, a person must first obtain their nursing license through the State Board of Nursing. From there, they must then go to the State Board of Medicine to get a midwife license. This requires either passing an examination or having a certificate from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Partnering with a physician

All licensed midwives also need an agreement with a licensed physician. The physician will only validate a nurse’s ability to prescribe if the nurse has a background in medications and prescriptions specifically. With these collaborative agreements and requirements satisfied, licensed midwives can then offer medical services like a prescription of medications.

Needless to say, this is a number of steps needed to reach the final goal. It can help to have legal aid while going through the process to ensure everything happens as it should.