Many women choose to use midwives during the birth of their children. However, until recently, Illinois did not provide separate licensing for midwives. Currently, only registered nurses who underwent additional training and met certain requirements have been recognized as nurse-midwives in the state. Under legislation signed by Governor Pritzker in February, midwives without nursing degrees will be able to gain licensing. The new law will take effect on October 1, 2022.
Illinois Midwife Licensing Basics
After October, licensed midwives will have the right to provide care for women before, during, and after deliveries outside of a hospital setting as long as the pregnancies and deliveries are deemed low-risk. They will also be able to provide women with other forms of medical care, including well-woman care, care and supervision during pregnancy, performing pap smears, and screening for STDs.
In order to provide this prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care, midwives will need to meet qualification standards, education, and training. They may also be subject to disciplinary steps and malpractice claims.
The education and training program will be certified through the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council. The midwife be at least 21, have a high school degree, and complete an accredited program in postsecondary midwife education. A certified midwife who has not completed the MEAC program can still obtain their license if they already have at least three years of experience, plus other certifications. If they have previous midwife certification, a midwife can obtain a bridge certificate through the North American Registry of Midwives. Midwives who already have the required educational standards can begin the license application process before October 1.
Disciplinary factors that could disqualify a midwife from obtaining their license include:
Addiction to alcohol or drugs
History of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, or other immoral conduct related to midwifery
Malpractice, incompetence, patient abandonment, or negligence claims while practicing midwifery
Criminal convictions for felonies, misdemeanors involving dishonesty, or other offenses while in the practice of midwifery
Any health issues, both mental or physical, that could impact their ability to care for patient
Any history of child abuse or child neglect involving DCFS
Contact an Illinois Medical License Lawyer
For questions about your midwife license, including the application process and any disciplinary concerns you have in obtaining your license, contact an Illinois midwife license attorney at Williams & Nickl, LLC. We have experience helping other healthcare providers obtain and keep their professional licenses and can help you ahead of October 1. Call our office at 312-335-9470 to schedule your free consultation.