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How are you using your CNM or WHNP license?

I am a current RN with my BSN, and have always been fascinated by women's health / L&D, etc. Lately I've been considering pursuing further education to become either a CNM or WHNP (or both - I know some schools offer dual degrees). I live in the Dallas / FW area, and my question for those who currently have one or both of those titles - what kind of job do you have and how are you using your degree? Is it hard to find work within this specialty? As of now I'm not interested in working at a birthing center (prefer hospital or physician office setting), but can be open minded. I'm really just looking for real life application for this degree. Whether it's worth it financially at the end of the day, etc. I know this is a broad post, but thanks in advance for sharing your experience!

LibraSunCNM specializes in OB.

I'm a CNM in the NYC area. I work at a city hospital in a group of 16 midwives providing prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and well-woman care. We, and all of the physicians, are hospital employees. We take no call but rather do shift work. I work two 8 hour days per week in our clinic, and 2 twelve hour shifts per week on L&D, usually one night shift and one day shift. In NYC it's not generally difficult to find work as a CNM, but it is a little tougher as a new grad. I got lucky and landed a job at a facility where I'd done clinicals. My job is "worth it" to me because I have amazing coworkers and work with poor, largely immigrant women, who desperately need my services. I love taking care of them and while I probably won't work here forever (for many reasons), it has been an amazing first job as a midwife.

And I just wanted to comment on your birth center statement---you do know that 95% of CNMs work in the hospital setting? Home birth and birth center birth are just a tiny fraction of American midwifery (although awesome!)

I have both. I was a whnp for 7 years then went back for my cnm. The whnp is more gyn focused and the cnm is more OB focused. Once you are a cnm, get gyn experience and won't need a whnp technically. You can deliver babies with the cnm. I'm in dfw and here there is no dual degree program. People either want a cnm or whnp but you can get a whnp job as a cnm. Just go to Texas tech for the cnm and once done get lots of gyn experience.

ps: once you go birth center it's hard to go back

Thank you LibraSunCNM and ADJ2016. What you had to say was extremely helpful.

LibraSunCNM, your work sounds very interesting! To give you some insight and background on my question, I currently live in Dallas. The hospital I'm at have no CNM's on staff, and the people I know who have delivered babies through a CNM have all done it at birthing centers. My knowledge of what's out there is limited, but that's a little bit of background behind my questions. I've also done some job searching for fun, and haven't come across too many options for CNM's within the hospital setting. I'm not sure it I'm not looking in the right places or if it's more of a regional need across the states. Again, I'm still years away from this, but am trying to look ahead and see what my options are and if it'd be worth it! This is what I'm truly passionate about and love doing, so would love to see it come to fruition!

ADJ2016, I'd be interested to pick your brain since you're in the DFW area. Can I ask what setting you work in? Parkland is the only hospital I'm finding that hires CNM's in Dallas. Is that your experience as well or am I looking in the wrong places?

LibraSunCNM specializes in OB.

Hi again,

I hope my statement didn't come off as judgmental or rude, I'm rereading it and it does sound a bit like that. I just wanted to make sure you knew! Some people don't even know midwives work in hospitals. But as you guessed, midwifery settings vary hugely by geographical area, so Dallas sounds like midwifery is mostly confined to the birth center setting. I'm not too familiar with Texas' climate specifically, however the website for ACNM has a ton of useful info, including a detailed slideshow about midwifery practices by region. You should check it out!

Overall, for me, midwifery was definitely worth pursuing, there's no question in my mind. If you're passionate about the field, you will find your niche and a great job somewhere, it just takes some work (and a healthy tolerance for putting up with/fighting against a lot of crap sometimes!).

Oh I didn't take your comment as being negative whatsoever! I'll definitely check out the ACNM website to see what information they have for the Dallas area. I'm truly passionate about this, so I appreciate your encouragement to follow that, knowing it'll all be worthwhile in the long run. I enjoy hearing others' experiences, and it sounds like you don't regret your decision at all!


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