CNM Path after non-nursing Bachelors and JD

  1. 0
    Hi 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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  2. 0
    I'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.
  3. 0
    Moved to the Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) forum for more of a response.
  4. 1
    It'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.
    mamagui likes this.
  5. 0
    Do Midwifery schools prefer those with a 4 year BSN over an accelerated degree?

    What are some examples of the "Direct-entry for people with non-nursing Bachelor's degree - directly into graduate RN/CNM program"?

    Thanks : )
  6. 0
    There are programs, often referred to as "direct entry" MSN programs (not to be confused with the "direct-entry" midwifery programs that produce midwives who aren't RNs) that take people with a BA/BS in another field but no nursing education or experience. These programs are, basically, an accelerated BSN program and an MSN program stuck together, and you graduate with an MSN (and, in some cases, also, a BSN, but not all of the programs also award the BSN). Some of these programs prepare people as generalist nurses (these programs are usually referred to as CNL programs nowadays, for "clinical nurse leader'), but there are also direct-entry (nursing) programs that prepare people for advanced practice nursing specialties, including CNM. The grad school I attended (I'm a psych CNS, not a midwife) included a direct-entry nurse-midwifery program. Students went in with no nursing education or experience, and graduated licensed RNs and prepared to take the CNM boards and be licensed as CNMs.

    The programs are out there but I don't know, offhand, how many or where. They tend to be expensive, and v. competitive for admission, and are typically 2-3 years of intense, full-time study.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  7. 2
    I am a Vanderbilt graduate. The wording in the Vanderbilt program is a little different. They consider "direct entry" those who have BSNs and are just doing their MSN. They have "pre-specialty" for those coming in with a BA/BS in another field of study and essentially doing an accelerated nursing program then the specialty piece. However, those that stop after the accelerated nursing piece, I'm told have difficulty getting just a nursing position as it is not a formal BSN. It's presumably called pre-specialty as the field of choice is open to include FNP, CNM, WHNP and others. They also have the dual specialties which often add an additional semester or two of coursework. As my name indicates, I was dual CNM and FNP (which I highly recommend if you are so inclined). Students must choose their desired specialty upon applying to the pre-specialty program. As previously indicated, it is highly competitive and a full time load. The pre specialty students take their NCLEX in the first semester of their specialty program. So it requires time dedication on your part to independently study.

    My opinion: I was a direct entry student because I had done an accelerated, 12 month BSN program 3 years prior. I was working as a nurse on the floor in both med surg and women's health. (there were many ICU and med surg nurses in my program; you do not need to work women's health) I attended the program part time and worked full time until it was time to travel. Most programs will require travel of some sort to clinical sites. The Vanderbilt program has a clinical placement office that is completely dedicated to finding your clinical site. There is no work on your part. This is unlike some other programs that ask you to find your own preceptors and if you don't, you run the risk of sitting out a semester. So this will be something important to ask when looking at potential schools. Do I find an advantage having been a practicing RN over my colleagues who have not worked formally as an RN?- not so much. We are often told that by two years out, you can not tell the difference between the two groups as far as competency. There is still some push back from older, experienced advance practice nurses regarding the nursing experience prior to pursuing advanced degrees but I think this is fading away somewhat; especially with the significant health provider shortage.

    I do not recommend the AA route for you, especially considering what you have stated as your long term goal. I also take it, you want something that is not going to be an extended time commitment. If you do decide you would like to be a RN first, there are many accelerated BSN programs out there. Mine was 12 months but has since changed to 16 months at the University of Michigan. I encourage you to look at the list I posted below. All the programs will vary in length for BSN and vary in specialty offerings for MSN.

    Below is the link to the accelerated BSN programs:
    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/leading-ini...ata/BSNNCG.pdf

    Below is the link to the accelerated MSN progams:
    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/leading-ini...ata/GENMAS.pdf

    On another note, Vanderbilt has now created the "seamless transition" which allows you to bridge up once more to the DNP or PhD track and to my knowledge, without secondary application.

    Good luck on your journey and excited to one day call you a colleague.
    Last edit by cashCNMFNP on Apr 20 : Reason: typo
    acumama and mamagui like this.
  8. 0
    Do an accelerated BSN then a MSN in Nurse-Midwifery.


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