Interested in pursuing a CNM career

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    Hi everyone!!

    I'm a third semester nursing student in IL and have recently become VERY interesting in pursuing midwifery as a career. I was hoping to gain some insight from CNM's, student midwives, or other students interested in pursuing this as well. I have tried to do some research (via google) on the career outlook and haven't found much. I've also found various ranges of salary, some as low as $60,000 (which seems quite low) and some as high as $95,000.
    Thoughts/advice?

    Thank you so much for your time!
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  4. 0
    I also forgot to mention that I was curious about non-nursing class pre-reqs. I had thought about going the CRNA route, but I would have to take a year of physics and 1.5 years of chemistry just to meet the requirements for admission.
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    There is a thread on here about CNM's salaries ect, started by someone that just graduated. Just scroll down and you should find it. The salary thing is difficult to get a handle on. The answer is it really depends.......on what, you ask?

    Location
    How many years you have been practicing

    Those seem to be the big things. You will hear that it does not pay to become a CNM, that the salary is too low. And it is all about perspective. If you have been an RN for 20 some years and are making 70,000/year. It does not make sense to them to go to school for an additional 2 years and make 75,000/year as a new CNM grad (according to Payscale.com/for my area). But the earning potential is higher, what would that same CNM grad be making in 20 years? Just like any profession the higher your education level=the higher your pay. But for some nurses that have been working for quite a while it does not make sense.

    The other most often complained about issue is schedules of CNM's. That again is a "it depends" I have meet tons of CNM's and CPM's now and their schedules are as varied as any nurse. Some have what I consider crazy call schedules, but so do a couple of me fellow students at Frontier that are RN's in L&D. One works 3/12's and is on call for 2 days a week. She usually gets called in, she had to cut down to part-time with no-call because she could not handle the course load with working that way. One CNM (did not do birhts) worked at Planned Parenthood doing Pap/pelvics and BC prescriptions and worked Mon-Fri 9-5.

    And the other thing to consider is some women (like myself) just have to be a midwife. I feel like I would want to do this even if I made the same amount of money as a counter girl and McDonalds. I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. I can't wait to be done with school and practicing. So those things are not that much of a consideration for me. But just like FNP's, CNM's salaries are increasing and the demand for them is increasing too. I am sure I will have a comfortable living as a CNM, I do as an RN and I know it will not be worse than it is now!!
    WantToBeMidwife and mandajeanice like this.
  6. 2
    Thank you for your post TLAlady - it was reassuring! Looking into this profession, I know that I want to go for it without regard to schedule/salary. Then that lurking feeling returns -- the one where I wonder if its fair to ask the s.o. to come along for that kind of ride that may include less-ideal pay and bad hours. I like re-hearing stories that debunk that image.

    Mandajeanice, having wanted CNM (in my heart) but being cautious (in my mind), I've really done an on-paper compare and contrast like you. The two main fields I've considered are CRNA and PsychNP. Both interest me - I actually love Chem/Biochem - but at this point, they interest me less so than midwifery.

    Both CRNA and Psych NP are, statistically speaking, better pay ranges. I'm sure there is overlap, and regardless, I think most midwifes make a comfortable living. The 75-95k a year range fits within the range of 'what I'm comfortable with', but I believe thats a highly personal decision. I know that I don't want to choose something that leaves me financial stressed all the time, that would deplete my energy because I am a worrier when it comes to finances, savings, etc.

    That said....starting nursing as a career change, I sometimes put too much pressure on myself to pick the perfect financial trajectory. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm not obligated to choose THE MOST lucrative specialty - I just have to choose one thats a fair to my family and me, considering the current sacrifices we are all making for me to go back to school.

    I worry a lot about choosing something too risky that puts my family in a tough spot; I would feel terrible. BUT, I honestly don't think thats the case with midwifery. I think the salary will be just fine, and I think you can always 'take control' of a schedule by being selective about jobs, especially with well-woman care options out there too.

    As for me, I'm continuing down the path my heart wants. If things change and I realize that due to my location or whatever - midwifery becomes an honestly bad job-option - then I'll rethink, but its to early to make a compromising decision. In the end, I know I can be happy in a lot of medical fields - but for now, I'm going to go for the one I believe I'd be most happy in first
    mandajeanice and TLAandy like this.


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