The following terms wherever used or referred to in this article shall have the following meaning:
(a) "Midwife" means a person who assists in the management and care of a woman and her infant during the prenatal, delivery and postnatal periods.
(b) "Midwifery" means the practice of performing the service of a midwife for a fee or compensation.
(c) "Nurse-midwife" means a qualified professional nurse registered with the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses who by virtue of additional training is specifically qualified to practice nurse-midwifery according to the statement of standards for the practice of nurse-midwifery as set forth by the American college of nurse-midwives.
(d) "Board" means the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses.
(a) No person, other than a physician, shall engage or hold themselves out as practicing nurse-midwifery without a license to do so issued by the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses: Provided, That this requirement does not apply to those midwives who hold a license upon the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred seventy-three, issued by the West Virginia board of health. Persons holding licenses on said date issued by the said board of health shall be permitted to practice midwifery as formerly defined and according to the authority granted to them upon the issuance of their licenses, until the expiration of such licenses without the privilege of renewal.
(b) No person may practice or offer to practice as a nurse-midwife with prescriptive authority without a license to do so issued by the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses and issued pursuant to section seven-a of this article.
(a) A nurse-midwife license shall be issued by the board to any applicant who provides evidence that he or she:
(1) Is a registered professional nurse licensed by the board;
(2) Is a graduate of a nurse-midwifery education program approved by the American college of nurse-midwives or any American college of nurse-midwives designated successor organization; and
(3) Is certified by the American college of nurse-midwives.
(b) Any nurse-midwife who desires privileges for prescriptive authority as described in section seven-a of this article must, in addition to the evidence required by subsection (a) of this section, submit to the board the information required by section seven-b herein.
Persons may make applications for licensing as a nurse- midwife by completion of an application upon forms to be provided by the board. Such forms shall require the applicant to state their name, address, age, and their qualifications for licensing. The board may require reasonable supporting documentation and information demonstrating that the applicant meets the qualifications for licensure. Such completed applications shall be submitted to the board together with the sum of twenty dollars.
(a) Licenses or certificates issued by the board shall bear a serial number, the full name of the applicant, the date of issuance of any such license, the seal of the board and the signature of the executive secretary of the board: Provided, That if prescriptive authority has been granted pursuant to section seven-a of this article, such authorization shall also be included on each license or certificate issued by the board.
(b) Every licensed nurse-midwife shall procure from the secretary of the board annually, on or before the first day of July, a certificate of registration. The certificate shall be issued by said secretary upon the payment of a fee to be fixed by the board, not to exceed the sum of ten dollars. The secretary shall mail annually, on or before the first day of June, to each licensed nurse-midwife a printed blank form to be properly filled in and returned by such licensed person on or before the first day of July to the secretary of the board. Upon the receipt of the form properly filled in, and such fee, the annual certificate of registration shall be issued and transmitted.
(c) The authority to practice as a nurse-midwife with prescriptive authority shall be indicated on the applicant's registered professional license issued by the board.
(a) The board may suspend or revoke a license for any of the following reasons:
(1) Failure to remain current in annual registration;
(2) Gross negligence in performance of service as provided by the statement of standards for the practice of nurse-midwifery by the American college of nurse-midwives; or
(3) The commission of a crime in association with the practice of nurse-midwifery.
(b) Before any license shall be revoked or suspended, the accused shall be furnished with a written statement of the reasons for such suspension or revocation and shall be given reasonable notice of, and be entitled to, a hearing before the board, in person, or by attorney, according to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
The license to practice nurse-midwifery shall entitle the holder to practice such profession according to the statement of standards of the American college of nurse-midwives, and such holder shall be required to practice in a collaborative relationship with a licensed physician engaged in family practice or the specialized field of gynecology or obstetrics, or as a member of the staff of any maternity, newborn or family planning service approved by the West Virginia department of health and human resources, who, as such, shall practice nurse-midwifery in a collaborative relationship with a board-certified or board-eligible obstetrician, gynecologist or the primary-care physician normally directly responsible for obstetrical and gynecological care in said area of practice.
(a) The board shall, in its discretion, authorize a nurse-midwife to prescribe prescription drugs in a collaborative relationship with a physician licensed to practice in West Virginia and in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. An authorized nurse-midwife may write or sign prescriptions or transmit prescriptions verbally or by other means of communication.
(b) For purposes of this section an agreement to a collaborative relationship for practice between a physician and a nurse-midwife shall be set forth in writing. Verification of such agreement shall be filed with the board by the nurse-midwife. The board shall forward a copy of such verification to the board of medicine. Collaborative agreements shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Mutually agreed upon written guidelines or protocols for prescriptive practice as it applies to the nurse-midwife's clinical practice;
(2) Statements describing the individual and shared responsibilities of the nurse-midwife and the physician pursuant to the collaborative agreement between them;
(3) Periodic and joint evaluation of prescriptive practice; and
(4) Periodic and joint review and updating of the written guidelines or protocols.
(c) The board shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code governing the eligibility and extent to which a nurse-midwife may prescribe drugs. Such rules shall provide, at a minimum, a state formulary classifying those categories of drugs which shall not be prescribed by nurse-midwives, including, but not limited to, Schedules I and II of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, anticoagulants, antineoplastics, radio-pharmaceuticals and general anesthetics. Drugs listed under schedule III shall be limited to a seventy-two hour supply without refill.
(d) The board shall consult with other appropriate boards for development of the formulary.
(e) The board shall transmit to the board of pharmacy a list of all nurse-midwives with prescriptive authority. The list shall include:
(1) The name of the authorized nurse-midwife;
(2) The prescriber's identification number assigned by the board; and
(3) The effective date of prescriptive authority.
A nurse-midwife who applies for authorization to prescribe drugs shall:
(a) Be licensed and certified as a nurse-midwife in the state of West Virginia;
(b) Not be less than eighteen years of age;
(c) Provide the board with evidence of successful completion of forty-five contact hours of education in pharmacology and clinical management of drug therapy under a program approved by the board, fifteen of which shall be completed within the two-year period immediately before the date of application;
(d) Provide the board with evidence that he or she is a person of good moral character and not addicted to alcohol or the use of controlled substances; and
(e) Submit a completed, notarized application to the board, accompanied by a fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars.
(a) Prescriptions authorized by a nurse-midwife must comply with all applicable state and federal laws; must be signed by the prescriber with the initials "C.N.M."; and must include the prescriber's identification number assigned by the board.
(b) Prescriptive authorization shall be terminated if the nurse-midwife has:
(1) Not maintained current authorization as a nurse-midwife; or
(2) Prescribed outside the nurse-midwife's scope of practice or has prescribed drugs for other than therapeutic purposes; or
(3) Has not filed verification of a collaborative agreement with the board.
(c) Prescriptive authority for a nurse-midwife must be renewed biennially. Documentation of eight contact hours of pharmacology during the previous two years must be submitted at the time of renewal.
(d) The board shall notify the board of pharmacy and the board of medicine within twenty-four hours after termination of, or change in, a nurse-midwife's prescriptive authority.
Any person practicing midwifery in this state without complying with the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.