Experience needed before beginning midwifery program - timing issues!

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    Thanks for reading, and any advice! I am halfway through an accelerated BSN program in Virginia right now. I decided to become an RN because I wanted to go the CNM route, instead of pursuing midwifery without a nursing degree. I'm wondering how important it is to have hospital RN experience before applying to programs like Frontier. I have always planned to finish school, get a job, work for a year, and then start at Frontier as soon as possible. However, how DH and I have decided we're ready (emotionally, not necessarily financially) for a baby, and I'm getting more and more scared by reports of people taking MONTHS to find a first job out of school.

    So, I'm trying to figure out how to fit a pregnancy into my plan of graduate/work/Frontier. Is there any chance I could get into Frontier with 1) less than a year of experience or 2) no experience at all? I'm thinking if I don't find an RN job quickly, I'll volunteer at a DC birth center I used to volunteer in and run their childbirth ed classes, or something similar. To give you more info: I currently have a 3.9 GPA in nursing school, and in my previous degree (neuroscience), I had a 3.2 GPA. I *think* I'm a pretty competitive applicant academically, but are CNM programs generally more concerned with practical experience? Most of all - HELP! I can't push this baby thing back much further and I'm worried I'm going to give up on my dream to become a midwife just so I can have a baby sooner.

    Anyone with experience with Frontier in particular, or any similar distance program because DH and I will be in the DC area and I can't afford Georgetown LOL.

    Thank you!:redpinkhe
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    Wow I see myself one year ago in your shoes almost exactly (wedding instead of baby, but you get the jist). I graduated with my BSN last year. Honors, hospital experience prior to school, passed boards with flying colors, willing to work ANYWHERE... four months later I was applying to graduate school because I couldn't get a job to save my life!!!! In January I ended up moving across country to start graduate school in midwifery at NYU. I can't say I am sorry I came because I'm still looking for a job as a nurse and I graduated 11 months ago. At least I'm getting grad school out of the way now.

    On the topic related to experience: I know I may be biased, but I don't think you need rn experience to be a great midwife! Birth attendants from all walks of life provide excellent care for women during labor. In fact the American College of Nurse Midwives is debating whether or not to change it's name to the American College of Midwives because they recognize this fact. OB/GYNs didn't have to be PAs before they were physicians! Why should any form of advanced practice nursing be different? OK that's just my two cents.

    Your grades are amazing, but mine were comparable. I had the best references, connections at hospitals, etc. There is just no money to hire new grads right now, but I think things are beginning to look up. The best advice I can give is to get a student nurse position in a hospital. Although it doesn't guarantee a job, the only people I know who were able to find jobs after nursing school were those who had student nurse positions. If that is not possible, try to get a PCA/CNA position. Intern, extern, meet managers, etc. and if all else fails follow your dreams and go to Georgetown! (check out amazing scholarship opportunity... http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarship/guidance/funding.htm there is also loan forgiveness info at... http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/) Talk to their program director and financial aid office. They may be able to get you lots of assistance. by the way, amazing birth center in DC always looking for volunteers...Family Health and Birth Center (www.developingfamilies.org/dcbc.html).

    I know where you're coming from. I have not yet set a wedding date, still no job, but I'm becoming the professional I've always dreamed of becoming and I do not regret it. My philosophy about babies is that you can never be prepared, but when you're ready, you're ready and everything else will just work itself out. I wish you all the best.
    chicagonurse2b likes this.
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    Frontier does require one year of nursing experience, though not necessarily L&D experience. They will consider other relevant health care experience in lieu of the one year requirement. Keep looking for jobs-anywhere! LTC, offices, etc. Work as a doula, teach childbirth classes, whatever you can. Good luck!!
    tablefor9 likes this.
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    Quote from HappyNurse2005
    Frontier does require one year of nursing experience, though not necessarily L&D experience. They will consider other relevant health care experience in lieu of the one year requirement. Keep looking for jobs-anywhere! LTC, offices, etc. Work as a doula, teach childbirth classes, whatever you can. Good luck!!

    Hi, I'm a nursing student working on my BSN. I'm expected to graduate in May 2012. I've been looking at the Frontier school for some time now and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be applying there. I know you have to have the years experience, but since I pretty much know I want to go to grad school I wanted to know how early can you apply? I will have a job right out of school because I currently receive a service cancellable loan from my local hospital so I have to go work for them when I get done. Once I started working would I be able to go ahead and apply to the school even though I'm not completely done with my one year experience? I've heard that you can wait months before you get accepted and Frontier bound is a few months after that and classes don't start until a month or so after that! So I guess my question is can I apply while I'm still in my first year of experience as a RN and by the time I get through will all the applications and hopefully before bound I would have my years experience? Or can I not apply until I have a years experience first? I really want to begin applying asap after I get a job because I will be living with my parents and they said they would support me while I went to grad school (LIFESAVER)!!
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    I had my first son a few weeks after graduating nursing school... 4 weeks after having him I started my first nursing job. Now, 5 years later, I am ready to go back to school. (I didn't know I would want to go back to school).

    I would think (if it were me) that the best time to plan a baby would be after your BSN and during the first year of nursing. You could start trying at a point where you won't worry about delivering before graduation... its all about the timing. That way, your first nursing year and the first year of baby's life go by and then you're ready to apply for CNM school. It might take a little more than a year, depending on when you conceive, etc, but it will all work out. That way, then you are ready for CNM, you won't be pregnant about to have a baby and you won't have a brand new newborn that you are trying to get into a routine.

    Its definitely possible and not something that you should give up on. Even if you had a baby in the middle of a CNM program, if you have a good support system, it can work.


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