Working Toward CNM - Will Job-Hopping Make Me Look Unreliable?

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    Nurse Beth, My question to you is does all my job-hopping make me look like an unreliable and undesirable candidate, or is it somewhat common with new nurses?

    Working Toward CNM - Will Job-Hopping Make Me Look Unreliable?

    Let me fill you in on my background:

    I graduated with my ADN in 2014, worked on an adult cardiac/tele floor for 8 mos or so (I knew I wouldn't stay, just took the job to get in the door as a new grad).

    I then transferred to NICU because I absolutely loved my preceptorship in the neonatal progressive care unit, and while I loved some parts of it I found it wayyyy more stressful than progressive and it actually exacerbated some medical issues- so much so I decided to leave the hospital all together after about 6 mos (I am fine now).

    I still felt passionate about babies (well, really more about the mothers and babies, but I'll get to that), but I was so disheartened by my experience in the NICU that I decided to try a totally different arena. I have always loved kids and been curious about public/community health, so I took a job as a school nurse for low-income students. I also worked part time as a newborn night nurse in family's homes as I had NICU experience. After the school year ended I made the newborn nursing my full time job as I did not wish to return.

    I have also been in school for a year or so and will get my BSN this December. I am hoping to start my Master's in Midwifery in the Spring, as I have always felt pulled to this area, but was not 100% sure until now. I know that some L&D, Mother/Baby or other hospital-setting women's healthcare would probably be helpful to me for that degree so I have been thinking about applying for a job in that field...aka going back to the hospital.

    However, I am scared that 1) I will get the job but then leave bc it is too much stress/work with school and that will look really bad, or 2) that I won't get hired because they will be turned off by all my job changes/lack of specialized experience and that will lead to 3) continuing my night nursing job which is fine but doesn't allow me to practice hardly any of my nursing skills and so I am worried about losing those skills and if I will have a hard time getting hired after grad school.


    Should I just keep on where I am for continuity purposes? Will it matter if I have any L&D/Mother/Baby experience as a RN once I am a CNM? Please let me know what you think/ any advice.

    Sorry for such a long post- hope you can follow it all!

    Thanks so much.




    Dear Should I go for an L&D job?

    When you go to apply for a job as a CNM, having your CNM is more important than the experience you gained as a nurse before completing your CNM. Some employers view clinical bedside practice as an RN and CNM practice as two completely different roles. Either way, a year after working as a CNM, your RN work history will be a moot point.

    Your clinical practice history is helpful, of course, but will not make or break your career as a CNM. Focus on school and manage your stress.

    There are certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs), both represented by The American College of Nurse-Midwives.

    CNM Programs and Credentialing
    • You can apply to a graduate level CNM program if you are a licensed RN who already holds a bachelor’s degree (preferably in nursing). CNM programs grant a master’s or graduate degree and take a minimum of 24 months to complete.
    • Be sure that your CNM graduate program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Once you graduate from your accredited ACME program, you are eligible to take the national CNM exam.

    The credentialing agency (and gold standard) in the U.S. that issues CNM credentials is the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). The eligibility requirements to take the CNM exam include:

    • Proof of RN licensure in applicant’s state of residence
    • Graduate nursing midwifery degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
    • Two letters from the director of the nursing midwifery program addressing: the applicant’s graduate program completion date and the applicant’s ability to work in this role safely and professionally

    As a nurse midwife, you will be required to renew your credentials every five years in order to continue practicing.

    CNM Role

    The job outlook is good, with a predicted 9% growth by 2020. CNMs:
    • Serve as primary care providers to women
    • Conduct physical exams
    • Diagnose, treat and manage pregnant women and new mothers
    • Provide labor and birthing care
    • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
    • Counsel and educate female patients from puberty through menopause
    • Prescribe treatments and medications (depending on state)

    CNM Soft Skills

    The successful CNM inspires trust and confidence in her laboring moms. They must make split second decisions when conditions change and have the ability to remain calm.

    Best of luck in your journey to become a CNM.

    Best wishes,
    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Nurse Beth has '20+' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho'. From 'Bakersfield, CA'; Joined Mar '07; Posts: 728; Likes: 2,361.

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