Transitioning from WHNP to CNM?

  1. Hello!
    I have been debating for awhile about becoming a CNM vs a WHNP. If I become a WHNP, how easy is it to transition into CNM training? Any idea how long this would take? I really like the 2 year GEP that BC offers for WHNP, and my thought is that I could do that now, work for a few years, and then go back to train as a CNM.

  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   klone
    You would complete a post-master's certificate program. Didactic might take a year, with maybe another 3-6 months of clinicals (totally guestimating here).

    Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing offers post-master's completion programs.
  4. by   kangaroo2
    Thanks! Does it make more sense to become a CNM instead of WHNP for scope of practice reasons? It seems that CNMs can do all the women's health care that WHNPs can do. Am I wrong about that?
  5. by   danceluver
    After reading this forum extensively and receiving some excellent suggestions/advice I have learned that CNMs can do everything (including ob) that a whnp can do (of which cannot do ob). I am going to go for the dual route FNP/CNM personally, but in the end I feel that CNM would be best for me because I can also do ob. I have gone through huge mind debate about this as well, just like you haha, feel free to pm if you want! I'd be glad to help with any specific questions!
  6. by   arabianeyez83
    My friend who is a CNM as well as a WHNP, told me the easier route is to become a CNM first and then a WHNP, if u plan to do both. You would have learned everything u need to learn if u go that route.
  7. by   Krshmt
    I am a student nurse midwife at NYU and at the completion of my program I will be eligible for both my CNM and WHNP licenses. why not keep your options open. You will attend births as a midwifery student and then you will know for sure if you still feel like it is imperative to be a mother prior to providing perinatal care. If that's the case, you will have the option when you are ready. Otherwise you may have to go back to school after you have a family which may not be possible. I know several CNMs who only work in gyn as it offers a great schedule. It's up to you!
  8. by   kangaroo2
    Quote from Krshmt
    I I know several CNMs who only work in gyn as it offers a great schedule. It's up to you!
    Thanks Krshmt! This is actually the ideal situation for me - to do the CNM curriculum, and then maybe just work in gny/women's health for awhile if I don't feel like its a great time for doing births and all that entails...

    I was wondering if many CNMs did that, and what the job market was like. Do you need the WHNP certificate as well? I'm not sure if this is possible, but if any of the CNMs you know who only work in gyn now might be interested in talking w/ me, I'd love the opportunity! Feel free to PM me.

    Any other CNMs out there w/ experiences of working in gyn/women's health but not catching babies?
  9. by   Krshmt
    I'll send out my feelers and see if there is someone I can get you in contact with. Another option is to look up CNMs in your area on the ACNM website, contact them and see if there is someone you can shadow or talk with locally.

    I think a lot of CNMs actually start out as primarily baby catchers and as they get older, have families, want friendlier schedules they move to gyn care. It's actually a similar reason why there aren't as many ob/gyns catching babies anymore.

    I know there are a lot of job listings for CNMs to work in ob/gyn practices all over the country (midwifery is a growing profession ). Your scope of practice with any given group would be defined by your job description they provide you. I assume that you could also look for WHNP jobs (of which there are also a lot) and depending on the practice's understanding of the scope of practice of midwives there would be no reason for them not to hire you.

    At any rate, I'm glad to see prospective CNMs interested in primary care. It is a misconception that midwives don't perform gyn care, but I believe that it is this primary PREVENTATIVE care that is most valuable to our patient's quality of life and rewarding to our practice.

    Good luck, keep in touch!
  10. by   naznas
    hello, krshmt

    i am currently a student at nyu as well. I'm in my third semester of the accelerated program. i am considering advancing my education at nyu, i just want to be sure that the transition from cnm to whnp is possible. julia, the course coordinator told me that because the scopes of both professions are so similar, i will be able to obtain both certificates. my question is, if that is the case, is there any benefit of going to a school that has a dual degree option - cnm/whnp? i'm still a bit confused about the process of obtaining the license. do you take the board examinations for both?
    thank you,
  11. by   coffee and toast
    Do WHNP programs still maintain the natural emphasis that CNM programs do? Part of what drew me towards CNM was the preservation of nature in the nursing/medical approach. Currently, I'm considering WHNP as an option for me b/c though I love birth, I'm at heart interested in primary gyn care.

    However, I do not want to lose the 'midwifery' element of women's health care
  12. by   tulip34

    I'm sorry for taking so long to reply to your PM, but when I went to respond a few minutes ago, it turns out I'm not active enough on this website to use their PM system. I'll post a reply to your question here, even though it's a bit off-topic.

    At Marquette, the chances of getting an RA/TA-ship are slim, especially in the first 16 months (the accelerated RN portion). I don't know of anyone in my cohort who was able to get one. Marquette's program gets very expensive very quickly because there is limited scholarship or assistantship availability. Most people rely on family contributions and loans.

    The midwifery track is part-time only. I've heard that there used to be a full-time option, but faculty eliminated it several years ago. The total time from beginning the RN phase (full time for 16 months) to completing the MSN phase (part-time for 6 semesters) is approximately 4 years.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!
  13. by   ejohnson2
    I have been applying to accelerated BSN and MSN programs. Although I applied to both CNM programs and WHNP programs, I have decided that CNM is the best route for me. From what I have learned and understand, CNM's can do everything a WHNP can and more because they can do L&D. Some might think that the political climate for CNM's is not as good but I personal believe that the use of midwives and CNMs is on the rise and will continue to be.
  14. by   Simplyroses
    I am not sure why you would want to be dual certified as CNM/WHNP. They both require their own board exams for certification. A CNM can work in Women's Health throughout the entire life-span, but can also do obstetrics. If you KNOW you don't want to do obstetrics, then the WHNP makes sense. It just doesn't make sense to be dual certified.