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ABSTRACT

This paper describes the re-emergence of direct-entry midwifery in the United States, and focuses specifically on the over 1,000 midwives nationwide who are licensed in the 16 states where direct-entry midwifery is legal and regulated, and/or certified by the North American Registry of Midwives; it does not focus on direct-entry midwives or nurse-midwives who are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification Council, Inc. Professional developments of direct-entry midwives are highlighted, including the establishment of core competencies and articulation of values, the creation of a certification process, and development of education program accreditation. The current status of licensed midwives in Washington State, where state policies have supported the development of direct-entry midwifery and the integration of direct-entry midwives into managed care systems, is presented as one example of the evolution of professional direct-entry midwifery in this country. Additionally, recommendations from the UCSF Center for the Health Professions Taskforce on Midwifery, which address particular areas of concern for direct-entry midwives, are discussed. J Nurse Midwifery 1999;44:384–9 © 1999 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.