Emergency Rule: Certified Nurse Midwives Permitted To Practice Without Physician Supervision

On June 7, 2012, the North Carolina Midwifery Joint Committee (the Committee) adopted an emergency rule permitting unsupervised practice by Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) who experience an “unexpected” termination of their collaborative practice agreement.

The Committee is responsible for the administration of the Midwifery Practice Act, and is comprised of members of the Joint Subcommittee that regulates nurse practitioners, plus two midwives and two obstetricians who have “working experience with midwives”. The emergency rule followed the highly-publicized termination of collaborative practice agreements for a number of CNMs, all of whom were being supervised by one North Carolina physician.

The law governing adoption of emergency rules does not require a hearing prior to adoption, but does require immediate commencement of more thorough temporary rulemaking. During that process, the NCMS will seek to have a number of its serious concerns addressed. Please follow the NCMS doctor-to-doctor blog to monitor developments on this issue.


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