Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )
  

CHAPTER 6. Nursing [2700 - 2838.4]

  ( Chapter 6 repealed and added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 807. )
  

ARTICLE 2.5. Nurse-Midwives [2746 - 2746.8]
  ( Article 2.5 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1407. )

  
2746.5.  

(a) The certificate to practice nurse-midwifery authorizes the holder to attend cases of low-risk pregnancy and childbirth and to provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care, including interconception care, family planning care, and immediate care for the newborn, consistent with the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice adopted by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, or its successor national professional organization, as approved by the board. For purposes of this subdivision, “low-risk pregnancy” means a pregnancy in which all of the following conditions are met:

(1) There is a single fetus.

(2) There is a cephalic presentation at onset of labor.

(3) The gestational age of the fetus is greater than or equal to 37 weeks and zero days and less than or equal to 42 weeks and zero days at the time of delivery.

(4) Labor is spontaneous or induced.

(5) The patient has no preexisting disease or condition, whether arising out of the pregnancy or otherwise, that adversely affects the pregnancy and that the certified nurse-midwife is not qualified to independently address consistent with this section.

(b) (1) The certificate to practice nurse-midwifery authorizes the holder to practice with a physician and surgeon under mutually agreed-upon policies and protocols that delineate the parameters for consultation, collaboration, referral, and transfer of a patient’s care, signed by both the certified nurse-midwife and a physician and surgeon to do either of the following:

(A) Provide a patient with care that falls outside the scope of services specified in subdivision (a).

(B) Provide intrapartum care to a patient who has had a prior cesarean section or surgery that interrupts the myometrium.

(2) If a physician and surgeon assumes care of the patient, the certified nurse-midwife may continue to attend the birth of the newborn and participate in physical care, counseling, guidance, teaching, and support, as indicated by the mutually agreed-upon policies and protocols signed by both the certified nurse-midwife and a physician and surgeon.

(3) After a certified nurse-midwife refers a patient to a physician and surgeon, the certified nurse-midwife may continue care of the patient during a reasonable interval between the referral and the initial appointment with the physician and surgeon.

(c) (1) If a nurse-midwife does not have in place mutually agreed-upon policies and protocols that delineate the parameters for consultation, collaboration, referral, and transfer of a patient’s care, signed by both the certified nurse-midwife and a physician and surgeon pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the patient shall be transferred to the care of a physician and surgeon to do either or both of the following:

(A) Provide a patient with care that falls outside the scope of services specified in subdivision (a).

(B) Provide intrapartum care to a patient who has had a prior cesarean section or surgery that interrupts the myometrium.

(2) After the certified nurse-midwife initiates the process of transfer pursuant to paragraph (1), for a patient who otherwise meets the definition of a low-risk pregnancy but no longer meets the criteria specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) because the gestational age of the fetus is greater than 42 weeks and zero days, if there is inadequate time to effect safe transfer to a hospital prior to delivery or transfer may pose a threat to the health and safety of the patient or the unborn child, the certified nurse-midwife may continue care of the patient consistent with the transfer plan described in subdivision (a) of Section 2746.54.

(3) A patient who has been transferred from the care of a certified nurse-midwife to that of a physician and surgeon may return to the care of the certified nurse-midwife after the physician and surgeon has determined that the condition or circumstance that required, or would require, the transfer from the care of the nurse-midwife pursuant to paragraph (1) is resolved.

(d) The certificate to practice nurse-midwifery authorizes the holder to attend pregnancy and childbirth in an out-of-hospital setting if consistent with subdivisions (a), (b), and (c).

(e) This section shall not be interpreted to deny a patient’s right to self-determination or informed decisionmaking with regard to choice of provider or birth setting.

(f) The certificate to practice nurse-midwifery does not authorize the holder of the certificate to assist childbirth by vacuum or forceps extraction, or to perform any external cephalic version.

(g) A certified nurse-midwife shall document all consultations, referrals, and transfers in the patient record.

(h) (1) A certified nurse-midwife shall refer all emergencies to a physician and surgeon immediately.

(2) A certified nurse-midwife may provide emergency care until the assistance of a physician and surgeon is obtained.

(i) This chapter does not authorize a nurse-midwife to practice medicine or surgery.

(j) This section shall not be construed to require a physician and surgeon to sign protocols and procedures for a nurse-midwife or to permit any action that violates Section 2052 or 2400.

(k) This section shall not be construed to require a nurse-midwife to have mutually agreed-upon, signed policies and protocols for the provision of services described in subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 88, Sec. 4. (SB 1237) Effective January 1, 2021.)