Can Neonatal Nurse Practitioners Deliver Babies?

Neonatal Nurses in the United States are nursing professionals whose mission is to care for newborn babies who are born with various problems. These problems can range from premature babies, cardiac malformations, infections, birth defects or surgical problems.

The Neonatal period is defined as a baby’s first 28 days, which are the first days in which a baby is most at risk of dying. Despite this, some of these babies may spend a few months sick.

As such, Neonatal Nurses are tasked with caring for babies who experience problems at birth. It also encompasses the care of babies who present long-term problems related to their prematurity or illnesses after birth.

All this preamble allows us to indicate that Neonatal Nurses are fully trained to care for premature babies and the problems they may present from birth. Babies who need care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Is this enough for these nursing professionals to deliver babies? Let’s continue with the development of the next point, to see the answer to this question.

Delivery Care by Neonatal Nurses?

Neonatal Nurses, although highly trained professionals, need to become a certified nurse-midwife. This requires a specialized training process, attending a required number of births and taking an examination at the American Board of Midwifery Certification.

Being a Certified Neonatal Nurse-Midwife is an extremely rewarding and highly responsible profession, as apart from delivering premature babies, they also help bring a new life into the world. It is currently one of the highest paying nursing jobs in the United States.

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are nurses who are characterized as advanced practice registered nurses with high-level medical training. Their training is related to pregnancy, childbirth and the overall health of the pregnant woman.

They are Nurses who provide pregnant women with comprehensive, wide-ranging care that aims to promote overall wellness throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Types of Midwifery Certification recognized in the U.S.

Three different types of Midwifery Certification are recognized in the United States, with different types of credentials required to obtain them:

  1. Certified Midwife: no training in medicine outside of midwifery. Have completed a course of study, which is approved by the American Board of Obstetric Certification with an accredited degree from a recognized institution of higher education.


  1. Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM): These are highly qualified midwives who are legally registered nurses. They have completed the nursing curriculum, with a degree that accredits them as nurses. They must also have completed midwifery training and be certified by the American Board of Obstetric Certification and certified to practice medicine. They are nursing professionals prepared to deal with any obstetrical situation, except performing cesarean sections.


  1. Certified Professional Midwives (CPM): These are professional midwives who are registered with the American Registry of Midwives, who are not certified by the American Board of Obstetric Certification.

The major difference between the two organizations is that the American Registry of Midwives does not have any specific degree requirements for certification.

Can Neonatal Nurses deliver babies without a physician present?

Both Obstetric Nurses and Neonatal Nurses are professionals who in case of an emergency, in the absence of an obstetrician, can help deliver a baby alone in that condition.

Conclusion: Can Neonatal Nurses deliver babies?

Having reviewed all the information gathered in this article, we can say that Neonatal Nurses can deliver babies as long as they are certified as Nurse-Midwives by the American Board of Midwifery Certification.

Without this certification, Neonatal Nurses can only deliver babies if a certified Nurse-Nidwife (CNM) or physician is not available at the time of an emergency.

Marlene J. Shockley

My name is Marlene J. Shockley, and I am a Registered Nurse (RN). I have always been interested in helping people and Nursing seemed like the perfect career for me. After completing my Nursing Degree, I worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. I have also had the opportunity to work as a Travelling Nurse, which has allowed me to see different parts of the country and meet new people. No matter where I am working, I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and helping them through whatever medical challenges they may be facing.