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Do midwives get to prescribe medicine?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Medical Licensing

Midwifery training is often very complex and covers a huge array of topics, treatments, and more. Of course, it makes sense then that confusion exists around the question of whether or not a midwife has the legal capability to prescribe medication.

Despite the medical background, history and training of a midwife, they do not have the same rights as doctors. However, they have abilities and rights of their own that may sometimes involve writing prescriptions.

Gaining a license

The Pennsylvania Bulletin discusses rules and regulations that govern medical bodies in the state. This includes licensure for midwifery. Based on a midwife’s licensing status in the state, they can write prescriptions. If they do not have a license, they cannot prescribe.

This is important to note, as not every midwife has a license. It is not a legal requirement in the state, and many midwives lack formal education and learn their trade through an apprenticeship program. In this situation, they can still legally practice midwifery.

To gain a midwifery license, a person must first get their nursing license through the State Board of Nursing. They get the midwife license itself through the State Board of Medicine. To get this, they need either a certificate from the American College of Nurse-Midwives or need to pass an examination.

Getting a physician’s sign-off

These midwives then need an agreement with a licensed physician. If the nurse has a background in prescriptions and medications specifically, the doctor will then validate a nurse’s ability to prescribe medications.

With all of these steps accomplished, the midwife can then officially offer medical services like prescribing medications.