I've struggled with the CNM-CPM-CNM-CPM-CNM-CPM question for at least 10 years. Hoo - Boy. Sometimes I don't even know where to start.
Where am I right now? Just finished nursing school
, passed my boards, I'm a real nurse. Yay!
I used to think that nursing was just a hoop to jump through in order to become a CNM - and it seemed bothersome and needless and I thought it would have little value.
I can say right now that I very much value my nursing training (though I will admit, an ADN program is rather lacking in any sort of extensive OB nursing training). I'm also looking forward to working as a nurse. My midwife-wanna-be self of 10 years ago could never have imagined the day when I would say such a thing!
I got a lot of experience attending births with home birth midwives. And I think that satisfied my wanting to be around labor and birth. But I think I lost enough nights' sleep -and enough nights' sleep in a row - that I won't sacrifice my life for 24/7 call.
I'm torn about recommending the CPM route - though I think there are some wonderful things to learn about natural labor - that you can only see when natural labor is supported and attended by a midwife in out-of-hospital settings. I have some misgivings about the credential... and the training... it's really hit-or-miss. There are some stellar CPMs out there. There are others who did not get the best training... and there's just a WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE variety of practices among CPMs. You just don't know what you're going to get.
[I had my children at home with CPMs. Each one was entirely different in philosophy and practice - and I wasn't really happy with any of them as individuals... I'd wished I could make a mash-up of my midwives and create the one that would have practiced the way I wanted to practice. So there's that.]
Prior to doing homebirths I'd been enrolled in an accelerated BSN-MSN program and I HATED that. It was expensive. The instruction was poor. And there was virtually no focus (especially in the pre-MSN/CNM portion) on the thing I wanted to study which was midwifery and birth.
But, now, I'm looking at applying to complete the CNM. Such a circle.
If you can get experience in home births with a midwife. You will learn so much.... I just can't trade what I know from that experience I had. BUT - I think a CNM is a much better credential - and allows the midwife to provide full-scope midwifery care to her patients/clients. AND - not be on-call 24/7/365. There are midwives who give their lives up to be midwives. God bless 'em. It's not going to be me.
I need a day off once in a while.
Rambling.... but I don't know where to start and end with this topic. I've done it. I've done it all. And I've been doing it for too long.
Make a decision and enjoy the ride. Midwifery's great.