BOSTON, MA, Feb 2, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that expands the privileges and responsibilities of nurse-midwives.

The governor has signed legislation that authorizes nurse-midwives to write drug prescriptions and order tests or therapeutics.


Patrick said the law will increase access to nurse-midwifery care for more women in Massachusetts.

The law ends the requirement that nurse-midwives practice as part of a team that includes a licensing physician with admitting privileges.

Instead, nurse-midwives will be required to practice within a health care system and have clinical relationships with obstetrician-gynecologists that will provide consultations.

The Department of Public Health will be charged with registering nurse-midwives to issue prescriptions. It will work with the Board of Registration in Nursing and the Board of Registration in Medicine to authorize controlled substances for which nurse-midwives may be certified.