I am looking into nurse-midwifery as a career. Thought it sounded interesting then read Midwifery and Childbirth in America and am fully supportive of the profession. I am considering applying to a Master's Entry program that offers midwifery as a specialty but I am wondering what my prospects are after graduating for employment. How difficult is it to start a practice (I live in the SF bay area)? What kind of experience do I need to start practicing--will I need to work in L&D after graduating even though I would be a CNM or would I be able to begin practicing right away? What king of experience would be useful before beginning the program (remember I am not a nurse right now)? Would also like to know how those people practicing feel about their chosen profession. How does it impact your personal life? Do you feel like a valued healthcare professional? Would you recommend it? If not, what would you recommend? Most of the women I talk to are in the middle of starting families and there seems to be a rising acceptance and interest in using midwives, are you also finding this to be the case? As you can see, I have enough questions to fill an afternoon. Please respond, especially if you are familiar with SF Bay Area. Thx.
Jul 1, '01
Nurse midwifery has a wide range $50- $100k/ year. I have a friend who started out as a new CNM making $53 she is on a payback tuition program. This is probably the low end. I know a few new people working for Kaiser medical and make around $75k / year.
The hours resemble nursing hours moreless. many places do 12 hr shifts, I have heard of some doing 24hr rotations once a week but you get to sleep when you are not delivering. But most do a few clinical days and 1-2 12 hr delivery days.
It is probably the most rewarding area to work in. Most people are healthy and you have the opportunity to help them through a rewarding event.
You would probably want to get a few years in at a birthing center before going right into a private practice setting. Especially if you haven't worked in labor and delivery setting as a nurse.
Best of luck,