Quote from EileenSN
I am going to graduate in May from a diploma program. After HR spoke with our class recently I have alot of questions about where/what I want my first job to be. My plan when I started school was to become certified nurse midwife and I was thinking it would be advantageous to work in OB for awhile just to gain insight and experience. Now, I am reluctant to pursue this after realizing 1) the amount of schooling involved( did I wait too long to start?) 2) the amount of dedication required(I have 2 children, one with special needs and a husband that works 2 weeks away from home) I am passionate about women's health and think about becoming a NP in that field also. I guess my main concern is whether someone like me could handle the responsibility/dedication/commitment it takes. So, my question(s) is/are:
- What do folks think about jumping into a specialty like OB right away, vs doing med-surg for a year or two?( there is an opening at the hospital where I go to school and they are willing to accept new grads)
- Is anyone familiar with working with midwives in the hospital setting, and if so could you shed some light on your experience?
- For the practicing midwives out there, could you offer any advice to someone in my situation? Older student, with family, etc. How do you balance home and work life?
Also, I was thinking of shadowing one of the CNM's in my area...thoughts?
Thanks everyone! And to those who are graduating in May...We're almost there!!
Hey EileenSN! As a fellow aspiring nurse midwife, I thought I'd chime in. Firstly, congrats on nearly being done!! Its a huge accomplishment making it through nursing school
1.) It's never
to late to pursue your passion.
2.) Having children does make everything make complicated, but I believe its possible to still find balance (maybe doing midwifery school part-time instead of full-time would allow this)
3.) If you can get L&D work GO FOR IT! Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT let any old, grumpy nurses tell you that you have to do the med-surg thing first. I was told this by so many nurses. But nearly every CNM that I've spoken to felt that being a nurse before being a midwife was not
necessary and that the so-called obligatory med-surg was definitely not necessary. They all added, nursing experience in general is
valuable, but don't delay your midwifery training for years on end for the sake of med-surg experience when you KNOW you want to be a midwife.
4.) I shadowed three different hospital-based CNMs. One I followed while she was attending births. She had three patients in labor and she went from room to room to room. I could see how it was less ideal than a birth center or home birth where a midwife is able to labor sit, but she certainly spent more time with her patients than OBs do. The second midwife was doing postpartum rounds in the hospital. She palpated their fundus, checked their bleeding/perineum and sat and chatted with them about how they felt physically and emotionally. It was fast/efficient but she was still very sweet and warm. The women seemed to love her. The third midwife I shadowed at her office for prenatals/gyno care. I observed her doing pap smears, pelvic exams, discussing birth control and upcoming birth plans. It was great because it showed me that I would love the office too. I also shadowed/apprenticed with a home birth CNM. That kind of practice definitely resonated with me more but I can see myself doing both kinds of work.
5.) I'm not a midwife yet (I just finished an acclerated BSN, now applying to midwifery school) but I had several students in my ABSN who had kids and they made it through the program.
You should definitely do as much shadowing as you can. Call around and ask to chat/interview them and ask about shadowing. Not everyone you contact will be available but I'm sure you'll be able to find some midwives who are enthusiastic about helping out an aspiring midwife. Good luck!