Thanks for replying and sending more info. Here are a few ideas for you:
1. JOIN AABC as an individual. It will give you access to our newsletter. There is also an elist, which individual members can participate in.
2. Get to know the midwives in the Miami area, since the essence of a birth center is the Midwives Model of Care (google the term to learn more). There are two types of midwives in Florida, certified nurse-midwives and licensed midwives. There is a Florida chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and a Florida Midwives Association of LMs. Check both sites out online and learn who the local midwives are. Because you live in Florida, I would suggest that you focus on
3. Become a doula (if you don't know what this is, check out the website for the Doula Organization of North American (DONA). Doulas are women who help other women out during and after childbirth -- sort of what our ancestors did for their sisters, cousins, friends and neighbors in years past -- by providing support and encouragement during childbirth, helping women postpartum to manage a newborn and a household. You will meet lots of midwives this way, you will get to attend lots of out-of-hospital births, which are very different from hospital births.
4. See if you have the new Veria Living channel on your local cable or satellite TV carrier. It has just begun a new reality-type series, Labor of Love, centered around a group of midwives and a birth center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It will give you an excellent picture of home birth and birth center practice.
5. There is a fairly modern birth center in the Miami area. Not a bit Victorian. I think it is called Miami Beach Maternity Center. I know one of the midwives there. They are very busy and won't look on you as competition but as a potential future colleague.
6. I am friends with an RN who opened a birth center and hired the midwives who work there, but the RN is the one who owns it. She is a member of the AABC in Maryland. AABC has a program to pair each new Developing Birth Center with an established birth center. It has been very successful and has been around for many years. Since this Maryland center is owned by an RN, it would be a good model for you. The AABC website has a Find a Birth Center search engine, which is a directory of AABC member centers. Go ahead and call AABC's executive director, Kate Bauer. The office phone number is 215-234-8068, and ask for Kate. Tell her I suggested you contact her about becoming an individual or student member for now, but let her know your long-term plans. She's really nice. Her mother, Kitty Ernst, is one of the founders of the entire birth center movement.
7. Go "like" AABC on its facebook page and check out facebook pages for other birth centers in Florida, and "friend' or "like" them too.
8. There is a very luxurious spa-like birth center in the Los Angeles area. I think it's called The Birth Sanctuary and Family Wellness Center www.birthsanctuary.com
You should do LOTS of online research about birth centers. Just keep googling or use the AABC search engine, which links to each of the centers, to check out different models.
Best wishes to you and Happy New Year,
Susan M. Jenkins
American Association of Birth Centers