I'm applying for Direct Entry CNM programs to begin next year. I'm about to turn in my application to Yale, and then I am applying to Vanderbilt and University of Illinois - Chicago.
I'm concerned that I am not a competitive candidate solely because i have never seen a live birth. I have seen almost every YouTube birth video available, many documentaries, read over a dozen books, etc. etc. I am positive I know this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. However, I am still relatively young and my friends and I haven't started having kids yet, so I've never actually been "there" for a birth.
I volunteer in the NICU and have very competitive academics (graduated from a top school, above 95% on all GRE subjects) and job references. I want to believe I'm a strong candidate to at least get an interview, but this one part seems to be incredibly lacking and it is making me very nervous.
Any other CNMs get into school without seeing a birth? What sort of experience are they looking for in a Direct Entry program, where I'm probably not "competing" against labor and delivery nurses for a spot?
Oct 30, '12
I'm not sure what you mean by "direct-entry CNM". I've always considered direct entry and CNM to be the two different routes to midwifery. Direct entry means a program that teaches midwifery without requiring nursing school first. CNM is obviously the nursing path. Even though I'm an LPN, I've considered going into a direct entry path because I want to attend home births. I'm not interested in working in a hospital.
I don't know what CNM programs require in terms of previous experience. Direct entry midwifery requirements depend a lot on the legality in your state. In my state, DEM applicants are required to observe a number of births before starting on the next step of training, the active participation phase.
Some people meet this requirement by shadowing a midwife in her practice. Another way is to become a doula and attend births as a labor support companion. Doula training is very useful for learning the non-medical side of labor support. Working as a doula gives you the opportunity to witness a lot of different styles of labor and pain management, births attended by various doctors and midwives, and you would have first hand experience with common interventions and complications of labor. I went through a doula training program and hope to work as a doula, but I haven't been able to adapt my schedule yet to being on-call 24/7.
Oct 31, '12
Sorry, I meant "graduate entry" as in my undergrad is not in nursing. The Students forum calls these direct entry programs which is confusing! I plan to be a CNM who focuses on home births (I know that's more unusual).