CNM Path after non-nursing Bachelors and JD
- 0Feb 23, '13 by branflaxHi everyone! I have a not so quick question about suggested paths to get to where I want to be...
I just graduated from law school, and have been investigating other options for careers. One of the things I've always admired is nursing, specifically, certified nurse midwifery. I am not going to jump into it without looking and shadowing and researching EVERYTHING, so I was hoping someone could let me know which path I should pursue. If this is the path I go down, I would like to end that path by opening my own practice (using some of my JD and continuing education in the health law field).
So I've looked at the requirements for my state for being a CNM, and first I need to be able to certify as a RN, and to do THAT I'll need to go to school again. I could get a diploma, a 2 year AA (more like 3, I'll have to take all the pre-requisites), or the bachelors. I would really like to avoid the bachelors, because I'll already have to take more credits to do the midwifery certification AFTER I pass as a RN, and I'd really rather spend my time not in the classroom but doing the grunt work to get the experience on the floor. So I am leaning towards the AA and then some work experience and then CNM.
My main questions are... what is the CNM path AFTER one becomes an RN? What sort of experience (paid or unpaid) can you get as an RN with an AA? Does it make sense to get the AA in my circumstance? How can I find a CNM to shadow? Do you recommend any volunteer work before applying to Nursing school? And more importantly, does anyone here have experience in a very small or private midwifery practice? How do you/did you like?
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- 0Feb 25, '13 by phoenixnimI'm going for a CNM as well.
I don't advise getting your AA. Most masters programs want you to have your BSN in nursing. There are a couple of online schools that have a bridge program from RN to the masters program if you only received an associates. It all depends on what schools you are interested in and where you live.
If you live on the east coast, there are three states here that actually will license a CM, which is a certified midwife. This means you have your undergraduate degree in something other than nursing and then you too the bridge course to get caught up on sciences and then did the masters of midwifery.
There are seriously so many options to be researched and it all depends on location and your states laws. But most states to open your own practice to do hospital deliveries, you will need to be a CNM. If you wanted to do homebirths, you could always look into the CPM (certified professional midwife) or DEM (direct-entry midwife) route. There is a curriculum involved, and then you would apprentice with another homebirth midwife.
As for volunterring or working as an RN before going into the midwifery program, it depends on the school you want to do your masters at. I'm looking to go to UPENN and from what I can tell so far they do not require any prior nursing experience to get into the midwifery program. Frontier is the most common midwifery school, it's based online and then you find a preceptor locally. I know that Frontier requires at least one year of nursing or birth related experience prior to getting accepted. I have heard they accept doula/childbirth educator/and lactation educator experience in lieu of nursing work.
For me personally, and the schools I'm looking at, it made the most sense to go after my BSN first, and to not bother completing an ADN. I'm also just about complete with my doula certification and I will be trying to take on clients in between semesters to rack up more experience in the birth field. I'm also a volunteer with a local non-profit birth group that promotes evidence-based maternal/baby care.
- 0Feb 27, '13 by queenanneslaceIt's a little hard to suss out, but go to the ACNM website (American College of Nurse-Midwives) and look for programs that accept RNs with Bachelor's degrees in other fields. This option is different than the AA/ADN entry option for RNs without a Bachelor's degree.
Accelerated BSNs - or MNs -are options for people who have Bachelor's degrees in other fields - but they are much more expensive than the ADN/AA programs.
If you know you want to enter a Master's program upon completion of the RN - the Associate's degree route may save you some money.
Many people opt for the accelerated option - and there are even non-nurse entry options - 3 years from Bachelor's to MSN/DNP. It costs more, but it is streamlined.
You basically have 3 options
- RN via associates degree, then apply to graduate CNM program
- Accelerated BSN RN program, then apply to graduate CNM program
- Direct-entry for people with non-nursing Bachelor's degree - directly into graduate RN/CNM program.