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CNM vs NP vs dual degree.... Need help finding direction.

CNM   (257 Views | 2 Replies)

599 Profile Views; 17 Posts

I've always known I have wanted to pursue an advanced nursing degree, and I feel like the time is right in my life to start. I have 6 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse. 

I always thought I wanted to pursue a nurse practitioner career. I am interested in the advanced practice portion, especially in the area of women's health, and have considered maybe a women's health nurse practitioner track. One of the biggest pros of this career is the schedule; I would want to work in a clinic setting, where I wouldn't have to work as many nights/weekends/holidays.

However, I LOVE labor and delivery and am not sure I want to give that up for a clinic career. I know I would still be challenged daily and would learn a great deal, but I really enjoy caring for women during labor and birth. 

I didn't think I wanted to look into a career as a nurse-midwife, but I'm starting to consider it now. The major drawbacks are the call and I have heard CNMs have to carry major Liability Insurance, and there's of course a higher likelihood of being involved in litigation at some point (not unlike being a labor nurse). But the pros would be the ability to continue to do what I love, just at a different level. 

I'm leaning at this point towards a nurse-midwide/women's health nurse practitioner dual focus program. 

I would love any insight from those who are in either field; what helped you decide on your chosen career path? 

Any advice is much appreciated!

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aspiringcnm3 is a RN and specializes in Labor & Delivery.

45 Posts; 620 Profile Views

I’m in a dual program right now (so not in the field just yet!), and I chose it because I also have a background in L&D and did not want to give up being a part of labor and birth, which sounds like you! I love being there for those moments. I feel reassured by my choice because I can always dial back to purely clinic based work, but if I just got my WHNP I wouldn’t be able to be on the floor. The benefit of becoming dually certified is that if you do ever want to go entirely outpatient and stop attending births, you can work under your WHNP license and your malpractice insurance will be much lower because of that. It’s silly but even if you aren’t catching babies, if you work under the CNM license, the insurance is much more. A lot of times your employers pay for your malpractice insurance so this can also make you more marketable for these positions since you are “less expensive”. 

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33 Posts; 1,691 Profile Views

Hi! So I'm a WHNP and I do understand the dilemma! When I was applying for my Master's, I applied for both the NP and CNM program as I love women's health (and they didn't have a dual option! I ended up choosing the WHNP program because it worked for me at the time.

I would recommend doing the CNM program or do a dual program if available. You can always opt out of deliveries if you need to. Some hospitals do hire Whnps on the labor floor as well. Doing everything except deliveries. A dual program would be best!

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