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Aspiring CNM with a lotta questions!

anaphora anaphora (New) New

Hello, wonderful CNMs of AllNurses! I am a high school junior very interested in women's health nursing in general and the role of the CNM in particular. Of course, I'm still young and I have a lot of time to make up my mind, but I plan on pursuing a BSN directly out of college and receiving a CNM degree/license later in my twenties. I didn't even know what a CNM was until I found this board, and given that I'm interested in working with women and neonates, I figured I might as well ask a few questions to learn a bit more about this profession.

- Why did you choose to pursue nurse-midwifery over other careers in nursing (or een non-nursing careers)?

- What is your favorite part of your job (i.e., labor and delivery, well woman exams, managing birth control, etc.) and why?

- Where did you complete your CNM program? Did you have a good experience?

- This one is more for Texas CNMs: how is a job market for CNMs in Texas? Do you work in a hospital, birthing center, or home birth setting?

Thank you for taking the time to read/answer all of these, and have a lovely day!

I'm your age, so I can't help you with most of your questions, but I decided to pursuit midwifery/nursing after a lifelong fascination with it. If you can, go to your local bookstore and find some books about being a CNM (or similar). "Call the Midwife" is an awesome read about a woman who is a midwife in the 20th century (50's?) poor side of London living and working with nuns. It's super interesting.

Thank you so much!

I'll make sure to look for some literature this weekend at my local Barnes & Noble. "Call the Midwife" sounds really good.

Thank you so much!

I'll make sure to look for some literature this weekend at my local Barnes & Noble. "Call the Midwife" sounds really good.

Apparently it's also a BBC series, according to Google. :p

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB.

Hello, wonderful CNMs of AllNurses! I am a high school junior very interested in women's health nursing in general and the role of the CNM in particular. Of course, I'm still young and I have a lot of time to make up my mind, but I plan on pursuing a BSN directly out of college and receiving a CNM degree/license later in my twenties. I didn't even know what a CNM was until I found this board, and given that I'm interested in working with women and neonates, I figured I might as well ask a few questions to learn a bit more about this profession.

- Why did you choose to pursue nurse-midwifery over other careers in nursing (or een non-nursing careers)?

- What is your favorite part of your job (i.e., labor and delivery, well woman exams, managing birth control, etc.) and why?

- Where did you complete your CNM program? Did you have a good experience?

- This one is more for Texas CNMs: how is a job market for CNMs in Texas? Do you work in a hospital, birthing center, or home birth setting?

Thank you for taking the time to read/answer all of these, and have a lovely day!

I decided to become a CNM when I was a junior in high school, same as yourself. I had been interested in birth and babies for a really long time, and in middle school/early high school thought I wanted to become an OB/GYN, but without a clear understanding of what that really meant. I didn't realize that the philosophy towards childbirth is generally completely medically-focused for MDs, and I also didn't really think about the fact that an OB/GYN is a surgeon, not just for C/S but other GYN surgeries. I basically thought I wanted to be an MD because those are the people who women normally go to for OB/GYN care in the U.S., statistically.

My mom had me with midwives and encouraged me to look into the CNM pathway. My dad's two sisters are both nurses and also encouraged me. I realized after some research that my philosophy towards birth actually aligned with the midwifery model of care. I read "The Red Tent" at the same time and somehow one day everything clicked in my brain and I realized, "Oh, THIS is actually what I want to do." I went to a traditional 4 year BSN program for my undergrad, worked in med/surg and postpartum while going back for my master's in midwifery, and here I am 13 years later with 2.5 years experience as a midwife!

My favorite part of the job is actually attending births, especially that of a woman whom I've gotten to take care of during the pregnancy. I love being able to form a close relationship with a woman and her family and feel the trust grow as the pregnancy progresses. I love feeling like I'm making a difference. I enjoy assisting with breastfeeding, and would someday like to complete the requirements to be an IBCLC. I also love when my patients come back with their babies for their postpartum visit so I can give them a kiss!

I went to NYU for midwifery, which was a so/so experience for me, but largely due to the program director at that time, who has since left. I've heard the new director is much better. However working at NYU Medical Center as a nurse allowed me to get huge discounts on tuition, so I didn't go into any debt for grad school. Overall I graduated, passed the boards, and got a good job, so I can't really complain.

Don't work in Texas, sorry!

Hope all the rest helps.

It is a BBC series, I haven't seen it yet though, I want to read the book first. Let me know if you like it!

I decided to become a CNM when I was a junior in high school, same as yourself. I had been interested in birth and babies for a really long time, and in middle school/early high school thought I wanted to become an OB/GYN, but without a clear understanding of what that really meant. I didn't realize that the philosophy towards childbirth is generally completely medically-focused for MDs, and I also didn't really think about the fact that an OB/GYN is a surgeon, not just for C/S but other GYN surgeries. I basically thought I wanted to be an MD because those are the people who women normally go to for OB/GYN care in the U.S., statistically.

My mom had me with midwives and encouraged me to look into the CNM pathway. My dad's two sisters are both nurses and also encouraged me. I realized after some research that my philosophy towards birth actually aligned with the midwifery model of care. I read "The Red Tent" at the same time and somehow one day everything clicked in my brain and I realized, "Oh, THIS is actually what I want to do." I went to a traditional 4 year BSN program for my undergrad, worked in med/surg and postpartum while going back for my master's in midwifery, and here I am 13 years later with 2.5 years experience as a midwife!

My favorite part of the job is actually attending births, especially that of a woman whom I've gotten to take care of during the pregnancy. I love being able to form a close relationship with a woman and her family and feel the trust grow as the pregnancy progresses. I love feeling like I'm making a difference. I enjoy assisting with breastfeeding, and would someday like to complete the requirements to be an IBCLC. I also love when my patients come back with their babies for their postpartum visit so I can give them a kiss!

I went to NYU for midwifery, which was a so/so experience for me, but largely due to the program director at that time, who has since left. I've heard the new director is much better. However working at NYU Medical Center as a nurse allowed me to get huge discounts on tuition, so I didn't go into any debt for grad school. Overall I graduated, passed the boards, and got a good job, so I can't really complain.

Don't work in Texas, sorry!

Hope all the rest helps.

this post was extremely helpful!

I thought about OB/GYN early in high school as well, only recently have I come to realize that I would prefer a more holistic and patient-centered rather than procedure-centered approach to health. I assumed WHNP was the only GYN-related APRN specialty until I discovered Nurse-Midwifery; while WHNP was my first choice, I prefer the larger scope of practice a CNM enjoys in being able to deliver babies instead of working in primarily a clinical environment. From what I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, nurse-midwives can work in clinical and L&D settings, whereas WHNP is entirely clinical?

haha good to know! I figured midwifery wasn't all that popular in my home state anyway; Texas lawmakers are VERY specific and somewhat single-minded in their approach to women's healthcare. What regions of the United States does the midwifery profession enjoy more popularity in?

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB.

Yes CNMs can work both in L&D as well as outpatient settings, whereas WHNPs only work in the outpatient setting. "Clinical" wouldn't be exactly the right word, that just means any setting where you work with patients (as opposed to say, administrative positions).

I think there are actually a good number of midwives in Texas, but in terms of laws determining the autonomy of advanced practice nurses, I believe you're right that CNMs are somewhat restricted. But I know there are a lot of thriving practices around Austin, there's a well-known freestanding birth center called Holy Family in Weslaco near the border, as well as many other practices scattered around the state. Midwives are cheaper to employ than physicians, as we are not surgeons, so anywhere there are large populations of Medicaid/indigent/immigrant patients, you will usually find midwives.

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health.

I started in midwifery doing home births in 2006. Eventually I realized that it wasn't birth per se that really drew me- it was reproductive and public health in general. I couldn't do the work I wanted as a CPM, so i went back to school to be a CNM and now I work full time for Planned Parenthood. Couldn't be happier :) I miss birth and prenatal care, but I love love love working in public health, and I find gynecology fascinating. Best job I've ever had. I do quite a bit of abortion work (In addition to a zillion other things- hopefully everyone here knows PP is anything but an "abortion clinic"), and I really feel blessed to be able to provide those services. I've also really enjoyed being able to provide limited care for men, because that's a whole new set of pipes I never got to work on before.

Yes CNMs can work both in L&D as well as outpatient settings, whereas WHNPs only work in the outpatient setting. "Clinical" wouldn't be exactly the right word, that just means any setting where you work with patients (as opposed to say, administrative positions).

I think there are actually a good number of midwives in Texas, but in terms of laws determining the autonomy of advanced practice nurses, I believe you're right that CNMs are somewhat restricted. But I know there are a lot of thriving practices around Austin, there's a well-known freestanding birth center called Holy Family in Weslaco near the border, as well as many other practices scattered around the state. Midwives are cheaper to employ than physicians, as we are not surgeons, so anywhere there are large populations of Medicaid/indigent/immigrant patients, you will usually find midwives.

this is really good to know, my top choice for a BSN program right now is at UT Austin, so if I could find a midwifery job in or around Austin that would be absolutely ideal.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB.

I'm not sure if you've found the website for the American College of Nurse-Midwives (the professional organization for U.S. CNMs/CMs), but they have a wealth of info, as well as a job posting site. I often peruse it just for fun and there are tons of different jobs posted daily from all over the country, in different settings and practice models. Texas jobs certainly do come up.

American College of Nurse-Midwives

I really appreciate everybody's help with my questions. I will continue to keep an eye on the ACNM site; ideally I would prefer to work in Texas considering all of my family lives here, but there aren't that many CNM programs in Texas or in the south in general, so I would probably relocate to the the north for school.

I'm not a midwife yet, I'm almost finished with my first year of nursing school. I'm 29 with 2 kids. I decided to pursue midwifery right after my youngest daughters birth. I had taken my doula training earlier that same year, but quickly became frustrated by the limits of my role, especially in the hospital setting. After my homebirth , which was preceded by wonderful prenatal care under 2 CNMs I realized this was it. I needed to impart unto other women the experience that I had, regardless of setting. I needed to be a provider that offered evidence based care as a standard.

Me. I love labor. Women are beautiful strong amazing powerful creatures during labor. It's amazing and almost otherworldly to watch something. An honor to be a part of that.

Helping 1st time moms is a special treat, watching them make that transformation. Helping a multip have a completely different or healing experience from a previous birth is also humbling. Or at clinicals earlier this semester, helping a mom breastfeed and coordinating the resources to support her in that endeavor.

And then I'm a birth nerd. I could talk labor and delivery ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY DAY. 365. I love being immersed. I cannot wait for that to actually be my job.

Hey anaphora,

Congrats on being an aspiring midwife, I think you're making an awesome choice! I have wanted to be a midwife since I was 9 years old.

I'm not a CNM yet, but I'm finishing up my last semester in an accelerate BSN program to get my RN. I'm then going straight into Vanderbilt's CNM/FNP program. I really wanted the flexibility of both certifications. :)

I'm also from Texas and would love to practice here when I finish midwifery school. I know that most CNMs in Texas seem to gravitate towards working in birth centers as opposed to hospitals. I think right now, Austin and Dallas are probably your best bets for CNM practice; whether you choose a birth center or find a hospital that will take you on.

Also, Tennessee seems to be very friendly to midwives!

BEST OF LUCK!!! :)

You are on a long road, but stick to your guns and don't let anyone convince you out of what you already know to be true! Nursing school is hard, but one day being a midwife will be worth it!!! :)

Hey anaphora,

Congrats on being an aspiring midwife, I think you're making an awesome choice! I have wanted to be a midwife since I was 9 years old.

I'm not a CNM yet, but I'm finishing up my last semester in an accelerate BSN program to get my RN. I'm then going straight into Vanderbilt's CNM/FNP program. I really wanted the flexibility of both certifications. :)

I'm also from Texas and would love to practice here when I finish midwifery school. I know that most CNMs in Texas seem to gravitate towards working in birth centers as opposed to hospitals. I think right now, Austin and Dallas are probably your best bets for CNM practice; whether you choose a birth center or find a hospital that will take you on.

Also, Tennessee seems to be very friendly to midwives!

BEST OF LUCK!!! :)

You are on a long road, but stick to your guns and don't let anyone convince you out of what you already know to be true! Nursing school is hard, but one day being a midwife will be worth it!!! :)

Thank you so much for the luck! I've been looking into master's programs for nurse-midwifery; Vanderbilt really appeals to me for its CNM/FNP dual-certification and (relatively) close proximity to my home state in comparison to many of the other midwifery programs I have looked into.

All of these messages are really helpful and inspiring! I look forward to calling all of you my fellow CNMs someday!

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