I'm around 30 years old and making a career change into midwifery. I realized that I was very unhappy at a sedentary, desk-based job working on conceptual issues. I have always been very interested in women's issues and have always enjoyed science, love working with people, love working with my hands. When someone I knew had her first child with a midwife in attendance, I began reading everything I could find and talking to anyone who had any connection to maternal/neonatal health. My research phase lasted about six months, and by the end I was convinced that pursuing the CNM credential (versus CPM, or even CM) was right for me. This summer I began taking prerequisite classes for my state university's accelerated BSN program, and I hope to begin nursing school next summer.
I have two concerns.
1) I am not looking forward to nursing school. I've talked to a few alumnae of the program I hope to attend, and they have universally said that it was a miserable year. From what they've told me, a lot of nursing school is rote memorization combined with learning the "correct" answers (i.e. the answer your instructor wants you to give), plus a few fluff credits here and there. With the number of credits packed into a calendar year, I'm not surprised they were miserable. Still, I did my B.S. at what's considered a very good university (I'd rather not name it) and had the highest GPA in my program (tied with another person). I've got a 98.5% average in the A&P1 class I'm taking at the local community college. I've got a great work ethic, I test well, I'm organized, I learn well in a structured setting. I'm prepared to do an INSANE amount of work, but what I'm NOT prepared to do is to turn off my brain. :-( I'm nervous that I'm not really a good fit for nursing school.
2) More importantly... I don't want to be a nurse. The programs I'm considering for my MSN in Midwifery require at least a year working as a nurse before the program. I am DREADING that year! I know I would be very happy working gyn/ women's health/ reproductive health (Planned Parenthood would be a dream job), and I could probably tolerate L&D for a year. ;-)
Everything else... well, all I've read on this board is how impossible it is to get a job right out of school, and how everyone in the medical system looks down upon and abuses nurses, and how nurses are overworked, underpaid, and disrespected. I'm not interested in wiping someone's ass while they berate me. I'm not interested in listening to a physician talk to me like I'm subhuman because s/he went to med school and I didn't (I considered it about 10 years ago and decided that my ego was large enough as is ;-). In short, I've never met a nurse that loved his/her job. Oh, the horror stories I've heard! You nurses, all of you, are SAINTS, the POWERHOUSES of our medical system, I can't believe you all stick with your jobs. Why would anyone voluntarily choose this career? Unless... it were a stepping stone to something else?
Having freaked myself out about all of that...
CNMs out there, was it worth it? Do any of you identify as MIDWIVES instead of NURSE-MIDWIVES? If I tell my nursing school interviewers that I'm not going to be a nurse, don't see myself as a nurse, don't intend to work as a nurse, am I shooting myself in the foot? Was getting through nursing school and those first few years outside women's/ reproductive health worth it? What would you recommend to me? Words of wisdom? Help!!! I'm all ears (or eyes... or whatever :-).