Suggestions about being both FNP and CNM?

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    I have my BSN and I'm getting the itch to go back to school. My passion has always been in midwifery and I'm currently and L&D nurse/IBCLC. My husband is active duty Marine Corps and we expect to continue to move around frequently in the next 10-15 years. He is nervous about the limitations I will have as a midwife and thinks I should be an FNP. Well, as I started researching, I see that there are dual certifications out there. What are people's thoughts about these? I don't want to be in school forever and I don't want to be drowning in student loan debt. I like the idea of being about to care from cradle to grave, especially in rural areas, however, would I really use both certifications? I know that it will probably be challenging to maintain education for both certifications (on top of my IBCLC). Anyone's thoughts who have been there and done that or anyone else who is considering this?
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  5. 2
    Have you looked into Frontier University? It's a distance program that offers CNM, FNP, & WHNP degrees based out of Kentucky, where many posters on this forum attend. It's more or less where nurse-midwifery got started in this country and they have a very strong reputation.

    Frontier Nursing University - Distance Education from the Birthplace of Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nursing in America

    As for finding a job, I don't know if you'd find any settings where you could practice as both FNP & CNM at the same time, but I think if you're going to be on the move a lot, the FNP degree would give you a lot of options for different jobs. It would depend so much on where you are geographically. Many states have terribly restrictive control over midwives' and NPs' scope of practice, such as Alabama, but then some, such as New York, allow midwives a great deal of autonomy, and thus job opportunities vary greatly.
    Nihalu54 and mamagui like this.
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    I would suggest that you do the one you are most passionate about, get good at that, and THEN consider whether you want to multitask so much. In your case, I would say do the CNM first, and consider adding FNP certification later. There is such a learning curve for either one of those for the first few years of practice that if you're trying to do both, I would be concerned that you wouldn't get really great at either one.

    I know several ND/LM's (sort of like your FNP/CNM plan), and most of them seem to do mostly the LM part for now, with enhancements, but nowhere near the variety of patients that most NDs see.
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    Vanderbilt University in Nashville has a dual CNM/FNP program that would take you only two years since you already have a BSN. I am applying for Fall 2014. Also, I would look into state laws governing scope of practice for CNM vs. FNP wherever you are. I know in Connecticut where I am, midwives surprisingly have MORE autonomy to practice than nurse practitioners. Good luck!
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    Slightly off topic but @Daiseymay I have a question for you - any suggestions for a new RN grad on getting into L&D? My long-term goal is to be a CNM, but I feel getting some OB experience could be very, very VERY helpful... except hospitals don't seem to even look at RN's unless they have a BSN now (which I don't - yet, but will be starting soon) - and then trying to get into a specialty seems darn near impossible. May be easier to get into L&D after I'm already hired on at a hospital and can switch departments, huh? How did you get into L&D?


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