RN to Midwife

  1. 0
    Hi there,

    I'm a newly graduated RN (baby nurse as i'm often called at the hospital that i work at), who has a passion for all things having to do with birth. I'm currently working on a med-surg floor that has a focus on respiratory illnesses (a lot of CF patients). I'm hoping to start working at one of the best women's hospitals in the country in a few months and would like some tips on how to eventually move into a career in midwifery. In Canada, you don't need to be a registered nurse in order to be a midwife. In fact, the university I graduated from has a Bachelor's in Midwifery program. I don't want to get a second Bachelor's degree, however.

    So, any tips on how long I should work in Labour and Delivery before going back to school to become a midwife?

    Thank you

    =)
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  4. 16 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    this is probably not the advice you're looking for, but, for what it's worth...

    don't stay too long, otherwise the midwives will have to do a lot of correcting bad habits/un-teaching wrong information. the usa is rivaled only by canada in its inappropriate overuse of technology in birth.

    i live in the us and i had all my babies at home with a midwife. i've also been a nursery/nicu nurse for the better part of 16 years. i don't work l&d becuase i couldn't stand doing so many things i don't believe in.

    certain things would be helpful, like getting the hang of checking cervixes, getting to deliver some when the docs don't make it, etc. but don't get too caught up in the hysteria of thinking every birth is a crisis. most of the problems seen in hospitals (normal, healthy women at least) is due to medical intereference in the birth process.

    good books to read are a good birth, a safe birth, silent knife, spiritual midwifery (gaskin), and obstetric myths vs research realities (goer). they definitely put things in perspective. also helpful is reading the birth stories of women who have had previous hospital births and gone on to have home births. the contrast they describe is stunning. you can find them on the web and in books.

    good luck.
    HHheart likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from 33-weeker
    don't stay too long, otherwise the midwives will have to do a lot of correcting bad habits/un-teaching wrong information. the usa is rivaled only by canada in its inappropriate overuse of technology in birth.
    i am a hospital l&d nurse with 10yrs experience and i agree with you on the inappropriate use of technology, but i wanted to say that there are some rns who believe in natural birth out there. i work very hard to maintain as natural a birth experience as i can in the hospital system, at least for my patients that want them.

    i agree, many docs/hospitals and even nurses make even the most uncomplicated pregnancy complicated, but there are those of us out there fighting that trend.

    you don't have learn the bad habits...you have to learn to work around them, but you don't have to incorrporate them into your own practice.

    debbie
    tablefor9 likes this.
  7. 0
    I am glad you started this thread. I have been working in L&D for 5 years, right out of college. I have really lost faith in the birth process, have found myself facilitating the medicalization of the birth process and not believing in a woman's ability to give birth naturally. I have begun to get more and more panicky about EFM strips that bear watching, not fear. Pitocin has become as vital to the labor process as oxygen is to life and it is making me crazy.

    The thing is, I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS. Finding another job is not an option for many reasons, but I would like to regain my faith in the natural process. I have always wanted to return to school to get my MSN in midwifery, but truely feel that with my current attitude, it is not such a good idea.

    I will be looking for the books that you recommended. Thanks again for starting this thread.
  8. 0
    Quote from jayceee
    Hi there,

    I'm a newly graduated RN (baby nurse as i'm often called at the hospital that i work at), who has a passion for all things having to do with birth. I'm currently working on a med-surg floor that has a focus on respiratory illnesses (a lot of CF patients). I'm hoping to start working at one of the best women's hospitals in the country in a few months and would like some tips on how to eventually move into a career in midwifery. In Canada, you don't need to be a registered nurse in order to be a midwife. In fact, the university I graduated from has a Bachelor's in Midwifery program. I don't want to get a second Bachelor's degree, however.

    So, any tips on how long I should work in Labour and Delivery before going back to school to become a midwife?
    I would definitely ask at whatever program you are interested in studying at... many if not most CNM programs (usually confer master's degrees and graduates usually work in hospitals, sometimes freestanding (non-hospital) birth centers and home births) in the US want at least a year of full time experience in L&D.
    Our direct-entry programs (which don't require you to be a nurse first; the graduates usually work in freestanding (non-hospital) birth centers or home births) obviously don't have this requirement but may have others.
    It probably varies a lot from program to program.
    I always hear people say that it takes at least a year in L&D to start feeling at all comfortable.
  9. 0
    I feel it's more like 2 years myself. But everyone is different. 2 years, I was somewhat comfortable. 5 years and I felt truly competent and experienced.
  10. 0
    yes - i should add that some l&d nurses do a very good job of trying to maintain normalcy in birth in the hospital setting. kudos to those of you who do!
  11. 0
    Quote from obrnheather
    I am glad you started this thread. I have been working in L&D for 5 years, right out of college. I have really lost faith in the birth process, have found myself facilitating the medicalization of the birth process and not believing in a woman's ability to give birth naturally. I have begun to get more and more panicky about EFM strips that bear watching, not fear. Pitocin has become as vital to the labor process as oxygen is to life and it is making me crazy.

    The thing is, I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS. Finding another job is not an option for many reasons, but I would like to regain my faith in the natural process. I have always wanted to return to school to get my MSN in midwifery, but truely feel that with my current attitude, it is not such a good idea.

    I will be looking for the books that you recommended. Thanks again for starting this thread.
    You could come join me on our unit... we have a fair amount of immigrants who go unmedicated Other than them of course, there are lots of interventions...
  12. 0
    I have always had this as my ultimate dream. I plan on attending Frontier myself. But not until after I have my FNP, which at present will take a few years.
  13. 0
    Truly, I think experience in varying birth settings would be best. The hospital is but ONE venue......I think apprenticing with midwives in birthing centers would be extremely helpful, also. The hospital environment is not very conducive to natural birthing, as we all know, in many cases. JMO.


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