Baystate Medical Center Midwifery Program

  1. 0
    Hello,
    Has anyone been through Baystate Medcial Center's Midwifery program in Massachusetts? I havent seen much posted about the program and would like her from anyone who has been through it or decided against. I am looking at going there for either a post masters option or RN to MSN/CNM.

    Thank you!

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 0
    Quote from BrittanyNicole90
    Hello,
    Has anyone been through Baystate Medcial Center's Midwifery program in Massachusetts? I havent seen much posted about the program and would like her from anyone who has been through it or decided against. I am looking at going there for either a post masters option or RN to MSN/CNM.

    Thank you!
    Hey there! So I haven't attended this program but ill tell you what I know about it. I attended the information session recently and really loved the director and was also impressed by the sound of the clinical component. The program however, does not offer any financial aid (no govt/private loans or scholarships). There is a local credit union which may be an option (one of their current students has loans through them) but it sounds less than ideal for me (you must have a residence in the area, you have to make payments on the loan monthly while in school and you can't borrow for living expenses, just tuition/books.) I think this is probably the reason that their classes are incredibly small. The director mentioned up to six, but the average over the past several years has been two or three students. I think this may ultimately make the program not very competitive, both in the sense that its easy to be accepted and in the sense that they're not screening out less than qualified candidates. Several years ago I had a home birth CNM tell me that she has let a couple of their students apprentice with her after graduation and she was not impressed. Still, I didn't get the sense that program itself was lacking in any way, just that they can't be choosy.

    My only other issue with it is that they do not award an MSN at at the end. The final degree which is actually done in a distance format through Philadelphia U. awards a Masters of Science in Midwifery. While this definitely appeals to me, I worry that it could make me less competitive in the job market since every other program awards a MSN/ MS in Nurse Midwifery. I know for a fact that you couldn't work in Oregon w that degree because they require their CNMs to have a masters in nursing. I don't know if there are other states but I sort of feel that with all the work its taken me to get where I am I don't want to limit myself in any way.

    Currently, Ive just applied for Frontier and am really hoping to get in. I may not hear before Baystate's deadline though and may still send in my app to them. I haven't ruled them out completely, because as I said I think it may be a good program (both their current students at the info session spoke highly of it). But I'm not sure if its ideal for me. Hope this helps!
  4. 0
    I'm hoping to attend their program this fall, primarily because it is local to me and I really do not want to do distance learning for my CNM program. I am currently getting my MSN in nursing education through WGU, so I won't have to do the MSN component when I am enrolled at Baystate.

    I would do Frontier except that you have to find your own preceptor, and it is really difficult to do that since most CNMs have students placed with them through their institution.

    The financial part is a huge problem. Still not sure how I will handle it.
  5. 0
    Thank you both for all the information! This is very helpful. I am planning to go to one of the info sessions to see the school, meet faculty and get additional information. I would also consider Frontier but would rather a local program as well. Its a lot to think about but seems like a possible option.

    Im not sure how i feel about them not granting a MSN in the end and only a MS in midwifery. I haven't really seen this at other schools so i would have to look into the implications of this. If i go through another DE MSN program and complete this program after it wouldn't matter but if i go directly from a BSN/RN program it may...

    Cayenne06, its good to know you can do as a post masters option, as i may be taking this route too.

    I wish there were more options for CNM's in Mass. Its surprising because so many of our hospitals have such strong midwifery programs like the Brigham and MGH...

    Thank you again!
  6. 0
    So true Brittanynicole! Its annoying that there aren't more options in MA. I think Cayenne06 has an excellent point - if you're near the Baystate program (western MA) it could be difficult securing a preceptor. But I was told by Frontier's regional coordinator that in the Boston area, I shouldn't have a problem. Do you have your nursing degree already? Are you working as an RN? I looked for maternity nursing work in the Boston area but was turned away as a new grad. I went to nursing school specifically to become a midwife and can't quite force myself into any other area of nursing. I hope that I'll be able to start midwifery school soon so that I won't have to worry about this issue anymore...
  7. 1
    I don't see how a MS vs MSN would make a difference. It's the CNM certification that should matter. Just like it doesn't really matter ADN vs BSN it's the RN certification that matters.
    JrRnNycole likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from arayRN
    I don't see how a MS vs MSN would make a difference. It's the CNM certification that should matter. Just like it doesn't really matter ADN vs BSN it's the RN certification that matters.
    That may be true, but from what I hear a lot of hospitals are hiring BSNs over ADNs even though both are technically RNs, so it seems like a reasonable concern.

    I've been wondering why eastern Mass doesn't have a CNM program either; it seems like a good place for one. I would love to move back there and be able to complete my CNM locally (one of my mentors has had some negative experiences/feedback from students with Frontier, so I'm ambivalent about that route), but as it stands, I'm looking at OHSU and/or the U of MN (which is a DNP degree program with a low residency/mostly distance model, but geared to students in the upper Midwest; I'm in MN now). I haven't heard a lot about Baystate but get the impression it isn't very popular for the reasons already mentioned.
  9. 0
    Quote from trauerweidchen

    That may be true, but from what I hear a lot of hospitals are hiring BSNs over ADNs even though both are technically RNs, so it seems like a reasonable concern.

    I've been wondering why eastern Mass doesn't have a CNM program either; it seems like a good place for one. I would love to move back there and be able to complete my CNM locally (one of my mentors has had some negative experiences/feedback from students with Frontier, so I'm ambivalent about that route), but as it stands, I'm looking at OHSU and/or the U of MN (which is a DNP degree program with a low residency/mostly distance model, but geared to students in the upper Midwest; I'm in MN now). I haven't heard a lot about Baystate but get the impression it isn't very popular for the reasons already mentioned.
    Hi there!

    So I wanted to share some info about OHSU. I've recently spoken to two people who told me it was not a good program- one graduate of the midwifery program and the other graduate of their accelerated nursing program who chose not to do the midwifery portion because of other students she had spoken to. They both were very unhappy with it and upset about their now massive debt. It's kind of bizarre since its ranked as #1, but apparently the high tuition does not equal better program.

    I'm curious to hear the negative things you've heard about Frontier. I'm a new Frontier student and have been really impressed so far. The orientation was incredibly inspiring and am so impressed with the faculty I've met.

    I'm actually in MA and did consider Baystate. I loved their director but felt they couldn't really select the best students because they get so few applications. I think the main reason they don't (and my main reason too) is that they don't have financial aid. I also think the MS vs MSN could make a difference. I know for a fact you could not practice in Oregon without the MSN and I know of one job in Connecticut where they insisted on a MSN over an MS in Midwifery. I imagine for the most part it's not an issue but I just didn't want to risk any limitations.
  10. 0
    Quote from midwifetobe85

    Hi there!

    So I wanted to share some info about OHSU. I've recently spoken to two people who told me it was not a good program- one graduate of the midwifery program and the other graduate of their accelerated nursing program who chose not to do the midwifery portion because of other students she had spoken to. They both were very unhappy with it and upset about their now massive debt. It's kind of bizarre since its ranked as #1, but apparently the high tuition does not equal better program.

    I'm curious to hear the negative things you've heard about Frontier. I'm a new Frontier student and have been really impressed so far. The orientation was incredibly inspiring and am so impressed with the faculty I've met.

    I'm actually in MA and did consider Baystate. I loved their director but felt they couldn't really select the best students because they get so few applications. I think the main reason they don't (and my main reason too) is that they don't have financial aid. I also think the MS vs MSN could make a difference. I know for a fact you could not practice in Oregon without the MSN and I know of one job in Connecticut where they insisted on a MSN over an MS in Midwifery. I imagine for the most part it's not an issue but I just didn't want to risk any limitations.
    Thanks for chiming in! I'm starting to think none of these CNM programs actually have consistently good reviews and it's getting pretty frustrating, though I really appreciate your insights about OHSU and will try to use that information to inform my visit there tomorrow. What you heard reminds me very much of what I was told by another prospective student when I toured Yale's GEPN program, though a current student I was in touch with was happy with the program there, and I suspect opinions about OHSU must vary considerably as well. I like what I have heard and seen so far, but I have not visited or spoken with any graduates which would help a lot I'm sure.

    I know a number of students here have been really excited about Frontier, which is why I have hesitated to say anything, as I do not have first hand experience with them. I have a friend who just graduated who was also happy with the CNM program. However, one of the midwives in the practice I am a fledgling apprentice/volunteer in has had numerous bad experiences with Frontier as a preceptor for their students. She has had students not get any work graded and returned before the end of the term, and she has had numerous problems with clinical placements that should have been arranged months in advance falling apart at the end due to Frontier's disorganization and/or misinformation (case in point--a student was scheduled to start in the practice, had set it up months prior, and was told literally a few days prior to starting clinicals that this site wasn't approved because the midwife attends some births at a non-accredited birth center, even if the student only attended home births at the practice). Maybe for in-hospital placements it isn't such an issue? For me, though, a big draw of Frontier would be greater flexibility in finding out of hospital clinical experiences. This midwife, who has trained many students and is very well respected in my home community, also feels the program is overly difficult for a MSN program and not very flexible or organized. Taken together, it was enough to make me very concerned about whether Frontier would be a good fit for me.

    My impression has been that perhaps Frontier has lost organizational ground in recent years. I have no doubt they still have good faculty and are a good option for some. Personally, though, if what my mentor said is true, I am not sure I will be willing to take a chance on them, but we'll see!
  11. 0
    Quote from trauerweidchen

    Thanks for chiming in! I'm starting to think none of these CNM programs actually have consistently good reviews and it's getting pretty frustrating, though I really appreciate your insights about OHSU and will try to use that information to inform my visit there tomorrow. What you heard reminds me very much of what I was told by another prospective student when I toured Yale's GEPN program, though a current student I was in touch with was happy with the program there, and I suspect opinions about OHSU must vary considerably as well. I like what I have heard and seen so far, but I have not visited or spoken with any graduates which would help a lot I'm sure.

    I know a number of students here have been really excited about Frontier, which is why I have hesitated to say anything, as I do not have first hand experience with them. I have a friend who just graduated who was also happy with the CNM program. However, one of the midwives in the practice I am a fledgling apprentice/volunteer in has had numerous bad experiences with Frontier as a preceptor for their students. She has had students not get any work graded and returned before the end of the term, and she has had numerous problems with clinical placements that should have been arranged months in advance falling apart at the end due to Frontier's disorganization and/or misinformation (case in point--a student was scheduled to start in the practice, had set it up months prior, and was told literally a few days prior to starting clinicals that this site wasn't approved because the midwife attends some births at a non-accredited birth center, even if the student only attended home births at the practice). Maybe for in-hospital placements it isn't such an issue? For me, though, a big draw of Frontier would be greater flexibility in finding out of hospital clinical experiences. This midwife, who has trained many students and is very well respected in my home community, also feels the program is overly difficult for a MSN program and not very flexible or organized. Taken together, it was enough to make me very concerned about whether Frontier would be a good fit for me.

    My impression has been that perhaps Frontier has lost organizational ground in recent years. I have no doubt they still have good faculty and are a good option for some. Personally, though, if what my mentor said is true, I am not sure I will be willing to take a chance on them, but we'll see!
    Hmm, very interesting trauerweidchen, thanks for sharing!

    I'm brand new to the program and so can't really comment on those specific issues but personally have been very impressed so far. Although I think you're right that no program is going to be perfect with all good reviews. It's such a hard decision when you care so much!


    Good luck w your visit to OHSU and deciding!


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