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Smark35 2,183 Views

Joined: Aug 21, '08; Posts: 72 (33% Liked) ; Likes: 56

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  • Jul 16 '09

    What school did not prepare me for was how much salary I should expect to get, and how to negotiate it, so I'm here to share my experience with you because salary seems to be a bit of a elusive topic. Nobody wants to talk about how much they make, so it's hard to pin it down.

    I have had people offering me and my classmates a range of salaries from over 75K to over 100,000K (over many areas and states). One outlier, a private OB hiring a CNM for the first time, offered me 65K. He had googled it and was sincerely surprised that when I told him it was far too low. After doing some googling myself, I realized that there sites out there that really underrates our pays.

    Google "salary cnm" and you are usually led to, which uses a special scientific method (sarcasm intended) to rate it unrealistically low.

    Go to, the official ACNM site, and it's on the FAQ, but they won't commit to giving a range ("widely varies").

    So far, I found this site to be most realistic representation of what I am personally seeing.

    As far as benefits and hours go, private companies seem to be able to give less, but make you work more. In one private practice, I was to work 5 days a week 8 hours a day, but on 2 of those days, I am also on call 24 hours. In addition, I had to be on call every third weekend. I was quite shocked at how they expect me to physically function that way - that is, if you are up 24 hours, how do go in for another 8 hours of seeing patients?
    Then I realized that mostly, the providers sleep in the call rooms until it's time to catch a baby.

    In some big hospitals and birth centers, the standard that I have seen are 40 hours - 2x8hours clinics, and 2x12hours. I like that because besides working under more humane conditions, I am able to provide labor support and spend more time with my laboring women when I'm on. Many hospital do have calls.

    Bigger places come with bigger benefits, usually, not not necessarily - average 4 wks vacation, 1 wk paid CME, personal days, better healthcare, and liability insurance.

    I know nothing about women who start their own practices, but that's probably a whole different experience.

    So.... I hope that gives some of you a better idea. If anybody can share their experiences, I would love to hear.

  • Jan 7 '09

    I saw a request for more practicing CNMs to post so I thought I'd tell you about my day.
    Monday I was the on call person so I got to the hospital a few minutes before 0800. I rounded on a newly delivered mom and one from the day before. A few minutes later my scheduled induction arrived up so I did her H&P and orders. She's a multip and already 4cm so I figure the induction will go easy and I'll get a daytime baby. Because she had a ripe cervix I go straight for the pitocin. My office hours started at nine and I had an assortment of return prenatals, an annual, first trimster bleeding, ER follow up of missed AB, and a 6 week PP. In between pt's I checked on my induction and not much was going on. She was contracting but still comfortable.
    After lunch I had an intern scheduled to work with me so I supervised him with the return prenatals. I get a page from L&D that my pt is requesting pain meds. She had already decided aginst an epi but wanted IV Nubain. I ran over to L&D to check her and she was 7cm. I knew she was going to go fast so I stayed with her and had a healthy baby a short time later. She needed a minor repair then I went back to the office for a few more return prenatal visits. I got home around 1730 and I had 8 pager calls throughout the evening. All minor things such as "What can I take for a cold" , scant pink tinged on toilet tissue, and an infected tooth (umm I'm a midwife you need to see your dentist instead of calling me at 1130 at night). No more pages after that and I slept all night.
    Well that's a pretty typical day. Sometimes L&D is really hoppin and I have a couple in labor at the same time, and somedays I have none. Feast or famine.
    I have to say being a CNM is a great life. I love my job and I have never regretted going back to school. I too read all the threads about pay, job security, liability when I was trying to decide if this is what I should do. I decided to go for and I'm so happy I did. You have to do what you love and the rest will all work out.

  • Dec 28 '08

    Wow, I don't know where those statistics are coming from, but they don't check out. FNS is accredited by the same accrediting bodies as brick and mortar programs. A program has to meet a certain standard for their graduates to take the national exams for CNM, FNP, WHCNP. Frontier has met those standards at a higher level than most comparable programs. Anyone can check those statistics. I have checked into a ton of programs available and Frontier is the real deal. They made the US news top graduate schools for 2008. I'm sure everyone is aware of all the quality indicators that factor into that rating. One of them is applicant graduation, meaning the number of applicants that actually graduate from the program. Which also means, (I feel I need to be clear to the point of stupidity here) they are graduating more of their applicants than other comparable programs. By no means is Frontier the program for everyone, absolutely not. Some students are just not distant learners period. Those who would excel at a brick and mortar program might not do well at a distance program and vice versa. Frontier reputation in the world of midwifery speaks for itself. I have talked to sooo many CNM in Florida that just have such positive things to say. Not graduates, peers and collegues of those graduates. Having a degree from Frontier speaks for itself. I hope to attend Frontier, but I'm not 100% sure I am going to do their program University of Cincinnati also intrestes me. I just felt I had to respond as someone who has done a ton of homework and research on the subject and the worse I ever heard about Frontier was it could be a little "granola" or a wee bit "earthy". Highly respected program.

  • Dec 28 '08

    Quote from
    Some things to consider that Frontier does not advertise but you find out when you've been through their system awhile. When you go to frontier bound, look around at your classmates. Only about 20% of them will actually wind up graduating. Frontier makes a lot of money keeping students as long as possible before kicking them out. You cannot judge a program by how happy the instructors look at an event like Frontier Bound. This is a big PR event to suck students into their mythos, then it all goes away. The classes are larger and larger with the same number of faculty. You are a small fish in a very big, very impersonal pond. The school does a very poor job of assisting students with things like clinical contracts. Yes, Frontier has a nice backstory with Mary Breckenridge and all that. There is no teaching at Frontier. Other distance programs do a much better job of teaching online. You are on your own with study guides, hundreds of pages of readings, and if you happen to "get" what the instructor thinks you need to know for exams, great. If not, you will fail exams. Nearly every student fails at least one exam. It is VERY EASY to do this for the reasons I gave. Some instructors have a mission to flunk as many students as possible at the end of the program to kick them out. There is no accountability. I believe there is more accountability in a brick and mortar program because faculty and students are face to face and this changes the power dynamic to more equality between the two. The student directory is filled with "withdrawn" students. This is a euphemism for "kicked out for exam failures or we just don't like you." There is racism at Frontier. For example, very few matriculated black students graduate -- nearly every single one is "withdrawn." There are certain parts of the country where it seems nobody graduates. Some students are allowed to remain after five exam failures -- if you are "liked". Many students have been kicked out in level IV in the past few months alone. Marriages have broken up over this program, students have gone bankrupt, have gotten into horrendous student loan debt, and are kicked out. There is virtually NO faculty or administrative support for students. It is the kiss of death to say anything on the forums critical of the school, asking questions, questioning administrative decisions, &c. Word gets back to administration, even if said on the so-called confidential student forums.

    Just another point of view to keep in mind. I am a realist. Frontier has its good points -- but WATCH OUT and cover your back.
    Well, I'm not really sure what your source is for this information, or if you yourself were a student. I do know several people who have graduated from the program in recent years and know several more who are well into the program and they disagree with your asessment. The people I asked about this said that they never failed any exams and felt very supported and encouraged by the faculty throughout the tenure of their program. They said that as long as you work hard and put the time in, that you will be successful. It's certainly not easy and there are people who have not made it through the program, but time and hard work are the keys to success. The alumni that I know are great CNM's and have found good jobs that they love!!

  • Dec 28 '08

    CNM2B and SMARK. Just wanted to say thanks for chiming in. And I just have to say SMARK, well done, well done.

  • Dec 11 '08

    This thread has disintegrated into an unprofessional debate.

    Closed for review.

  • Dec 6 '08

    Here here!

    Shannon, you articulated our experience very well, especially as our fearless student council rep.

    I had few doubts going into this program actually. Even if the program turned out to be very granola, I would have loved it anyway, since I tend to have very granola-crunchy tendencies. However, seeing just how technologically advanced and linked the program is - I mean, my goodness, it's so far in the mountains that you barely get cell phone reception!!! - blew me away. Frontier is truly a "modern pioneer" in working towards both education and health care for women and families all across this great country of ours. They have hospitals, clinicals, outpatient centers, outreach services........and more! They are so much more than "just" an educational program.

    Frontier, I am honored to be a part of your ever-growing family.yeah:

  • Nov 2 '08

    For all of you struggling with school or the decision to go to midwife school I just want to say it's worth it. I've been out of school for over a year now and I love being a CNM. All the sacrafice and tears from school were worth it. I have a full scope job so I do GYN, AP, IP, and PP. I enjoy it all but the L&D part is my favorite. There were many times in school when I wondered if it was worth it but I'm so glad I stuck it out. There were also the negative people at work who talked about liability and possibly no job at the end of school, but it all worked out. If this is your passion then stick it out. It will be worth it!

  • Oct 22 '08

    I've noticed alot of people have questions about being a CNM but not alot of practicing CNMs post on this site so I thought I'd tell you what a typical day is like.
    Yesterday I was on call so I got to the hospital at 0730. Got report and did rounds. 2 moms going home so discharge instructions and orders done. 2 others needed day 1 rounds. No one in labor. 0900 office hours start and I have a day of prenatal visits, annuals and postpartum visits. 1645 done with pt's, no one in labor so I head home. Various beeper calls throughout the evening. Mostly questions about meds to take with a cold, round ligamnet pain, etc. 1 mom with no fetal movement at 1930 so I meet her at the hospital for NST. Baby fine so I go home. 2300 I go to bed. 0230 beeper goes off and I have 1 in labor. I get to the hospital and find out I have another one coming in. I get the first one admitted, do an H&P, orders, get her settled in. The second one shows up so I admit her too. Both are progressing nicely. 1 with epidural, one with no meds. 0730 I caught the second admits baby. No problems, intact perineum. I do all the charting and make sure mom and baby are settled. 0830 my replacement shows up and she takes over for the other laboring mom. That's a typica call day. On days I'm not on call I just have normal office hours.

  • Oct 2 '08

    Shannon and Jen
    Congratulations!!! So excited to meet all of you. Have a great night.

  • Oct 1 '08

    Quote from Smark35
    Thanks so much! I can't wait to meet all of you! I do have a question, have you been able to access the forums, or does that have to wait until after Frontier Bound? Shannon
    You can access some of the forums--just the Group, BT and a few of the class threads. The rest we will get into after Bound. You log into that with your first name and last name (not your email login name) and then your login password. Looking forward to meeting you! I saw your name on the class list!

  • Oct 1 '08

    Quote from Smark35
    I was just accepted to class 64! I am Frontier bound in December!! I am so excited I can't stand it. Thanks so much to all of you who have given info and encouragement! Whoo hoo!!!Shannon
    Congrats! We can't wait to meet you!!!


  • Oct 1 '08

    Good luck everyone!

  • Sep 12 '08

    Quote from RiverRunner

    Congratulations on taking the plunge and applying for Frontier. I think you will love the school. I am a current student in the CNEP (CNM) program.
    In response to some of you questions:
    - It is my understand that ALL tests (except the Comps---at the end of all classes) are online (on Angel). Therefore there is no longer a need for proctors.
    -I went to FB (Frontier Bound) knowing no one and nothing about the school (really!). I left with a deep sense of empowerment and passion. I was so proud to be a part of such a remarkable school. It was wonderful to meet your classmates and staff. I don't want to give away too much, but know that you will be in good hands. The week goes by WAY too fast.
    - The school assists students with finding preceptors. They give you a list of preceptors that have been used in the past in your area (zip code). There are also FSMFN grads all over the country, a number that grows every week. Those are also people you can ask. I am not certain when the bridge students are required to find a preceptor. For teh BSN students it was the expectation that students identified their preceptor no later than two months after they attended FB (either part-time or full-time).

    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I am new to, so if there is someway you could send a direct message to me RiverRunner, I may find it easier!

    Welcome! We love to hear from new people on the CNM board. Please keep us abreast your journey towards becoming a midwife!

  • Sep 12 '08

    What happens at Frontier Bound stays at Frontier Bound LOL - it is a great experience and so personal I found it difficult to even share with my spouse!