Midwifery help moving from UK to USA needed

  1. HI,
    Am a newbie to this forum and really really need some advice.

    A little history about me
    Am dual nationaility UK/USA and can work in both. I have always lived in the UK and all my education has been here but want to move to the US one day to get to know my family and where i am from. I did well at school and have a BSc hon degree in media technology. I am 26 years old.

    I want to retrain and become a midwife in the UK but want to make sure i could still work in the US with the quialification i will gain. the course i have picked is a Diploma in midwifery which lasts 2 years from a top university. in england you then become a quilified midwife. You can then do a top up of half a year to get a BSc hon in midwifery but that is not needed until you really climb up the labber.

    My main question is do you have to train as a nurse and a midwife to become a midwife in the US? I have been told by someone you have to do both but their info in 30 years out of date but it has got me worried and i cant find anything useful on the internet. I could ask my dad who lives in the US but his trade is very different so wouldnt know the answer.

    I have another option open to me, to become a nurse by doing a diploma in Nursing then later on down the line doing a course to become a midwife. If i dont have to i dont want to go down this route as i am 26 years old and have decided what area i want to go into.

    Does anyone know how the system works when someone is UK educated and wants to work in the US?

    Please please can someone help

  2. Visit the_little_angel profile page

    About the_little_angel

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 1


  3. by   letina
    Midwives in the US are not specialist trained as in the UK, they are usually referred to as L&D (Labour & Delivery) Nurses, and are generalist trained RN's who go on to become CNM's. I think you will find RM (Registered Midwife) will not be recognised as enough to practice in the US, you need to be RN first and foremost. Hope this helps.
    Last edit by letina on Sep 18, '06
  4. by   cherrymary
    Dear little_angel, I just wrote you a really long answer but the computer ate it!!! Basically, there is some good info for you to start with at http://www.acnm.org/careers.cfm?id=84 , the American College of Nurse Midwives' section on Foreign Educated Midwives.

    I am like you, a dual US/UK national who grew up in the UK (I'm in the States now) so I know what it's like to try to make these decisions. Nothing like having too many options!!! Anyway, there are probably a couple of things for you to keep in mind.

    First, as letina said, midwifery education is very different here than there. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) do births in hospitals. They get their RN first and then do a MSN in midwifery, usually a 2-year program, so they have the same amount of education as most advanced practice nurses. Only about 2% of CNMs do out-of-hospital births. Their practice can vary enormously, but some complain that hospital birth is too medicalised and that they don't get to practice "real midwifery" often enough. However, there is a great need for CNMs, simply because the vast majority of births in the US still take place in the hospital.

    Certified Midwives (CMs) are not allowed to practice in hospitals, except in a few places like I believe New York and New Jersey. They mostly do birth center and home births. CMs are more like what midwives are in the UK, in that they are midwives first, not nurses, and are more free to give really individualized continuous care throughout the childbearing period. However, they are generally limited to working with a tiny (though growing!) percentage of the population - those who can afford to choose an out-of-hospital birth.

    So you have to think about what you want to do as a midwife, where you want to practice, who you want to work with, etc. I used to be really turned off by hospital birth, didn't want to be a nurse, and had my heart set on midwifery education in the UK. But then I realized that I ultimately wanted to practice in the US, and I didn't want to be limiting myself as a non-nurse midwife to a tiny sector of the population, and I wanted to serve the women that needed midwifery care the most. So I decided on the CNM route. It's a trade-off, I guess, but I'm very happy with the decision now (and even excited about the nursing part!). I'm applying to programs this year.

    Let us know how it goes for you. I wish you the best.
  5. by   cherrymary
    AND, the other thing I forgot to say is that you will have to do some kind of midwifery education in this country to get licensed here, even if you're qualified in another country. And even if you are a nurse and a midwife in the UK, you will still have to convert to an RN by working as a Labor and Delivery nurse for a year before you can even do a midwifery program. So if you're not that keen on the nursing itself, I would save yourself the time and just do midwifery in the UK, and then do a one-year or 18-month RN program if you decide to come here.

    Good luck!
  6. by   expatnurse
    I like others of you on this tread am a US nationality but british trained nurse. I have considered doing the conversion of 18 months at present I work in ICU. However I have worried about finding work in the US as a midwife since it is so medically forcused. My main question at present is when I was on placement in the UK with a midwife I noted it is common practice here to use 'gas and air' for pain relief during labour. But why in the states is this not used? From what I saw this is a very good form of pain control during labour. For two years now I have been trying to find the answer to this so I hope someone out there can answer this. I wish you all the best with your training. For the person who answered above did you find it very difficult to obtain your trainscripts etc. (the process of paperwork) needed to set the NCLEX? Thanks in advance to whoever can answer this. :spin:
  7. by   Belinda-wales
    I am a RN/RM uk trained and I have now got an AZBON licence to nursei n USA. I am being interviewed for my first l&d next week any way I have been in madwifery in the uk for 8 years and a nurse for 18 years and I have been told by the hospital that I am going to be working for that I will be treated like a new grad and in will proberly take me a at least a year to feel I know the ropes in l&d and that will be at New grad standard. I have tried to explain the british midwifes role told them that I worken in the hospital for a long time with low risk and high risk women- so any way I am looking forward to my adventure and lookf forward to this different way that american women give birth. But most of all I am looking forward to working with women and there families at this special time in there lives hopefully I will be able to use some of my midwifery skills with in the RN role- what do you think.
    Last edit by Belinda-wales on Jan 14, '07
  8. by   woodhill30
    Hi I too am a midwife / nurse from the uk , just about to start in labour and delivery as an RN, I wrote the thread about the entanox . I thought I was prepared for the more interventionist style of working, I am beginning to wonder how I am going to cope in a USA labour ward. I knew it was higher c/s rates and epidural rates but I have just found out most women at the hospital I was shown around are induced, all get a venflon on admission,women with epidurals are often left alone and fetal monitering is used at all times thus no moving about. Mothers and babies are separated too. I also heard of an ill mother who was kept in hospital but the insurance ran out for her baby to stay ,so a family friend had to take the baby home to look after.This shocked me , what about bonding in the early days that is so crucial?
    Anyway I am going to try my best to do what I can within the protocols and if it becomes too hard, I may switch to sugical or school nursing .
  9. by   kukukajoo
    CherryMary- Nurse Midwives CAN practice in hospitals in New Hampshire. I had all three of my daughters born with Midwives, including the delivery of my twins. Both births were at the local hospital and they also have full prescribing rights here.

    I had consulted with an OB while preggers with the twins and doc was present during delivery but too busy showing his gold jewlery off he had just bought in the Virgin Islands! He was just there in case something went wrong.

    I believe there are many more hospitals than just three states that let CNM's work there.