Nurse Educator Role - A Fifth Advanced Practice Nursing Speciality? - page 3

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are defined as registered nurses "possessing advanced specialized clinical knowledge and skills through master's or doctoral education that prepares them for specialization, expansion, and... Read More

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    I voted "undecided", when I expected that there would be inclusion of nurses who educate community members, so that they attain knowledge to be better informed consumers of health care, as well as learning the particular subject offered.

    As a Childbirth Educator, I realize that there are different levels of preparation for all those who share my vocation. Some are more involved in the educational "infrastructure", others have less formal beginnings in that specialty. When Lamaze techniques were first brought to this country from France, by Marjorie Karmel, a patient who convinced her doctor, and then in her book "Thank You, Dr. Lamaze" a good proportion of American women who had a thirst for knowledge of their pregnant condition, as well as wanting some control of their birth experiences.

    When "Husband Coached Childbirth" stemmed from Colorado Obstetrician Dr. Bradley's book by that name, the only real requirement for instructors following the techniques he espoused, (which were similar to those of Dr. Grantly Dick-Reed of the UK) were that they had to have had unmedicated vaginal births, themselves. Usually they were lay people, although their instructor was a Registered Nurse who worked in Dr. Bradley's office. It had a kind of folksy appeal.

    The ASPO/Lamaze organization evolved similar to the French setup, with Registered Nurses as educators teaching under the tutelage of Dr. Lamaze. There were three divisions in the organization composed of Physicians, Parents, and Childbirth Educators who were Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists. The latter professionals have gone on their separate path, now requiring those in their ranks to be PhDs. The public and hospitals recognized the RNs for their superior formal education, by allowing only RNs to teach Childbirth Preparation at their facilities. Now, that is where most expectant parents attend classes.

    I wonder if in the natural progression for recognition, Advanced Preparation Nurses included Childbirth Educators, requiring Master's degrees as part of their background for credibility, there could be too much on the plates of budding Childbirth Edicators, who already have time and financial restraints. They usually have young children who need them, husbands who take their time, and a regular job. I realize that other Nurses whose priorities are more academic may have the same situation, but it is apparent that more career oriented Nurses have already raised their children or have not had them, yet or don't plan that.

    Still, I believe that Diabetes, Childbirth, and other Nurse Educators of the public should be included in Advanced Practise confirmation.

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