NARM participated in the US Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association (US MERA) workgroup in Potomac, Maryland from April 10th through April 13th, 2014. US MERA is comprised of the seven organizations responsible for midwifery education, regulation, and association in the United States – the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
US MERA has worked collaboratively for almost three years with a common purpose of expanding access to high-quality maternity care and normal physiologic birth in all birth settings. The work has been shaped by the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) Global Standards for Education, Regulation, and Association, and the ICM’s Definition of a Midwife.
Participants at the meeting in Maryland brought their varied points of view to the discussion and worked together to find common ground. The result of this process was a statement of our core values and a commitment to actions intended to move midwifery forward. These actions include the development of additional innovative midwifery education pathways towards the CPM credential and support for licensure in all 50 states. Many states already rely upon NARM for the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP). NARM will continue to support these commitments in addition to supporting new, direct-assessment programs within MEAC accredited schools.
It will be challenging, but the collective organizations within US MERA are steadfast in their resolve to accomplish the work ahead. These agreements are a monumental leap forward towards unity between the groups to reach our common goals. You may have questions about the future of PEP and about the impact this work will have on current legislative efforts. This is an unfolding process, however we are confident the leadership and visionary work of US MERA will increase access to midwifery care and support our core value of providing access to options for normal physiologic birth in all settings.
We are grateful for your support as we travel this path through uncertain terrain. The NARM Board is excited to be part of this collaborative effort to move midwifery forward for mothers and babies!