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Advice for the Student Nurse Midwife

Posted

Hello all!

After a year of applications, fees, GREs, interviews, waiting, compulsive email checking, prayers, tears, and then happier tears, I was accepted and am finally starting my CNM program this August. Of course, now that there isn't anything more to do but actually BE A STUDENT NURSE MIDWIFE, I'm totally adrift. I've spent so long working to get to this moment that the idea of actually starting is completely thrilling/overwhelming/nerve-wracking. So what else is there to do but turn to the internet for advice?

CNMs:

What do you wish you'd known before starting your CNM program? What is your best advice for CNM students?

For those of you that volunteer as preceptors- what makes a great SNM? What traits do your favorite students consistently demonstrate? What are your absolute DO NOTs?

Thank you!

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Hello all!

After a year of applications, fees, GREs, interviews, waiting, compulsive email checking, prayers, tears, and then happier tears, I was accepted and am finally starting my CNM program this August. Of course, now that there isn't anything more to do but actually BE A STUDENT NURSE MIDWIFE, I'm totally adrift. I've spent so long working to get to this moment that the idea of actually starting is completely thrilling/overwhelming/nerve-wracking. So what else is there to do but turn to the internet for advice?

CNMs:

What do you wish you'd known before starting your CNM program? What is your best advice for CNM students?

For those of you that volunteer as preceptors- what makes a great SNM? What traits do your favorite students consistently demonstrate? What are your absolute DO NOTs?

Thank you!

I wish I'd known how dysfunctional my midwifery program was going to be, because I probably would have gone to a different one. But it all worked out in the end. I wish I'd had more experience with reading EFM, but that was really the only thing I felt I missed from not working as an L&D nurse. I also felt my med/surg nursing background helped me with a lot of primary care complaints I saw.

My best advice is to be eager and open to learning new things. Don't wait for your preceptor to tell you to go do something, keep an eye out for new patients coming into triage, or think about what's going on with patients you may already have in labor, and anticipate what you should be doing next for them.

Also, try not to let problems with your midwifery program stress you out too much. Hopefully yours is more organized than mine, but just take it one day at a time and you will get through. I have a very supportive husband who was a great rock for me to lean on/vent.

I don't know if you work at all, but by the time you get to clinicals, it's much easier if you cut down to part time, per diem, or not at all. I had some classmates work full-time the whole program, and they really just phoned in a lot of their classwork and did the bare minimum, which the professors notice, obviously.

Can't think of anything else right now, hope that helps!

cnmbfa

Specializes in OB/women's Health, Pharm. Has 40 years experience.

Figure out how to manage your time well. Develop skills in reading and analyzing research studies, since a lot of what your learn will come from journal articles in addition to texts. If you are not already skilled at it, have a college librarian teach you how to efficiently teach the literature.

As for clinical, be open-minded and flexible, ask questions. Treat everyone (clerks, etc.) with respect. If you do not know fetal monitoring well, buy the $50 DVD from the Wisconsin Assoc for Perinatal Care or take the AWHONN course.

I don't know if you work at all, but by the time you get to clinicals, it's much easier if you cut down to part time, per diem, or not at all. I had some classmates work full-time the whole program, and they really just phoned in a lot of their classwork and did the bare minimum, which the professors notice, obviously.

Thank you LibraSun,

I am lucky that I will not have to work through my program (they pretty much told us to forget about it anyway). You mention your peers "phoning in" the classwork. Was that possible because the class work was easier then the demanding clinical schedule? Is adjusting to an SNMs hours incredibly difficult?

Thanks again!

Figure out how to manage your time well. Develop skills in reading and analyzing research studies, since a lot of what your learn will come from journal articles in addition to texts. If you are not already skilled at it, have a college librarian teach you how to efficiently teach the literature.

Thank you CNMBFA! How did you go about managing your time well? Was it a matter of finding balance between study and the clinical hours?

Do you have any favorite journals that you keep up with/find particularly relevant to CNMs?

Thanks for the tip about the EFM resources! I'll have to look into those!

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you LibraSun,

I am lucky that I will not have to work through my program (they pretty much told us to forget about it anyway). You mention your peers "phoning in" the classwork. Was that possible because the class work was easier then the demanding clinical schedule? Is adjusting to an SNMs hours incredibly difficult?

Thanks again!

I felt like my program director was so invested in the idea of growing the midwifery profession that she let anyone with a pulse into the program, and was extremely lax with deadlines, grades, and the quality of work accepted in general. As such, I felt a lot of students were allowed to skate by, classwork-wise, with the professor noticing but not really cracking down on. However in clinicals there's no phoning it in! Two people who were not performing up to standards were kicked out of the program. Overall my program was somewhat disorganized and dysfunctional and required a lot of self-teaching. Luckily I had amazing clinicals.

I felt like my program director was so invested in the idea of growing the midwifery profession that she let anyone with a pulse into the program, and was extremely lax with deadlines, grades, and the quality of work accepted in general.

Hmmm, doesn't seem like a great way to promote the profession...

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Hmmm, doesn't seem like a great way to promote the profession...

Yes, she was a very kind woman but a fairly terrible program director.

which program was that? all that i have come across seem so intense in requirements and such lol

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

I went to NYU, which has a new program director now.