Midwife vs. NNP

  1. Hi, I'm a CNA starting nursing school next year! I plan to eventually get my master's degree but I'm torn between Midwifery and being a Neonatal Nurse Practioner. I love infants and I know I;d be very invested in my job but I'm also really interested in midwifery, I get I wouldn't work with babies as much but more pregnant women and prenatal care but I'd still handle babies somewhat when delivering and women's health is important. I also heard midwifes get a band 6, so do they get paid more than NNPs? I don't know what to do, I know I have enough time to figure it out but I really like to plan ahead and stick to it. Any thoughts?
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    About RobynB0106

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 3

    16 Comments

  3. by   Miiki
    Sounds like you're in the UK, so unlike the US, you'll have to make your decision upon applying for nursing school.

    Can you find a way to shadow both?

    I think in my limited research of NNPS the the UK, I learned that NNPs get band 6 also. But you'd need to become a pediatric nurse first and work as an RN in a NICU first, probably at band 5. But I could have mixed all of that up as I was learning with a limited understanding of the bands in the first place.
  4. by   RobynB0106
    I'm from the US, I think when I heard about the Band 6 I was on a chat with nurses from the UK and didn't realize.
  5. by   Miiki
    Ok. That changes everything. You still may want to shadow both when you get the opportunity, but you have time to actually figure out what you like.

    You need to focus on becoming an RN right now. You can't move forward until you get into an RN program and eventually pass the NCLEX. And end up with your BSN. I won't go into the different degree paths. There are plenty of threads that explain the differences, pros, and cons.

    After you become an RN, this is where you'll need to figure out which path you want to take. To become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), you'll need experience as an L&D nurse. To become an NNP, you'll need at least 2 years experience in a Level III or higher NICU. To get these positions a quickly as possible, you should have a BSN and be flexible to move around the country.

    I recommend pursuing the path you're most drawn to first. If after some time in L&D, you aren't satisfied, then switch to NICU or vice versa.

    Pay is similar, so I wouldn't let that be your deciding factor.
  6. by   LibraSunCNM
    Quote from Miiki
    To become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), you'll need experience as an L&D nurse.
    Not true. You can become a CNM with no nursing experience at all, there are several direct-entry programs, and many CNMs have experience in areas other than L&D. I also wager that pay for NNPs is on average higher than that of CNMs, but that is just my suspicion.
  7. by   babyNP.
    Quote from LibraSunCNM
    Not true. You can become a CNM with no nursing experience at all, there are several direct-entry programs, and many CNMs have experience in areas other than L&D. I also wager that pay for NNPs is on average higher than that of CNMs, but that is just my suspicion.
    Yeah, I think we make more. NANN (national association of neonatal nurses) does a workforce survey every couple of years and the average new grad got $99k and the folks with 30+ years experience average around $145k. Of course this is variable on region and cost of living. Is this about the same as midwives? I think it's a bit lower from what I've heard.

    The NCC (board exam) doesn't require any RN NICU experience, however I know of no programs that don't require NICU experience and I can't see a hospital credentialing someone without NICU experience. PAs who have no experience generally get an extended orientation to the tune of 6 months to a year to make up for the deficit.
  8. by   Miiki
    Quote from LibraSunCNM
    Not true. You can become a CNM with no nursing experience at all, there are several direct-entry programs, and many CNMs have experience in areas other than L&D. I also wager that pay for NNPs is on average higher than that of CNMs, but that is just my suspicion.
    Eh. I just assumed you needed experience like NNPs.

    Ill change my statement to: experience in L&D or OBGYN office is probably not a bad thing in my opinion.

    I checked salary.com (which I acknowledge that it isn't the most reliable source, but just for a quick comparison). Using Houston, TX as an example, it says NNPs average $122k and CNMs average $108k. While NNPs are higher, it still isn't enough for me to not follow my passion personally.
    Last edit by Miiki on Sep 12 : Reason: sigh... the # of typos that completely changed sentences...
  9. by   Coffee Nurse
    My advice to you is to take it one step at a time. You haven't even started nursing school yet, you have very little idea of what bedside nursing will be like and whether you'll even want to go for a master's down the line. There's value in planning ahead, but there's also danger of cognitive dissonance if you decide now what the next ten years are going to look like and then find your interests shifting away from your set goal. When I started in the NICU, I just assumed I'd eventually become an NNP; now, almost ten years later, I still haven't decided whether that's what I ultimately want to do.

    ETA: Also, you only say you "love infants." Are you thinking of well infants? Have you had any experience with the NICU? Because there's a far cry between delivering healthy babies and managing the care of a 23 weeker or a big kid with hypoxic brain damage. Not everyone who loves babies is emotionally capable of taking care of critically unwell ones.
  10. by   babyNP.
    I agree with Coffee Nurse. When I first started college I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist until I shadowed one (thankful that I did!) and realized it was not for me. Then I thought for sure I was going to the adult ICU and be with the rock 'em sock 'em terrible trauma cases- worked on a trauma med-surg floor as a tech while in school...until I did my pediatric rotation and realized I could take care of babies and that was it for me. So, you may or may not change your mind and that's okay! It's good to investigate and learn about the different options out there. I did a ton of research on the above careers and I think it helped me fine tune what I actually wanted to do (there was another point when I considered doing a post-bacc linkage program to med school, very glad I did not pursue that).
  11. by   babyNP.
    Quote from Miiki
    Sounds like you're in the UK, so unlike the US, you'll have to make your decision upon applying for nursing school.

    Can you find a way to shadow both?

    I think in my limited research of NNPS the the UK, I learned that NNPs get band 6 also. But you'd need to become a pediatric nurse first and work as an RN in a NICU first, probably at band 5. But I could have mixed all of that up as I was learning with a limited understanding of the bands in the first place.
    I have a UK nursing license although have not practiced there personally- most NNPs are paid at band 8a for anyone wanting to know (source is nhs jobs site which is a centralized one since it's a single payer system) and midwives at band 5 and 6. Neither get paid well at all...NNPs make about what I made as a RN and midwives even less, but they don't do nursing school, they do a direct entry program.
  12. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from babyNP.
    I have a UK nursing license although have not practiced there personally- most NNPs are paid at band 8a for anyone wanting to know (source is nhs jobs site which is a centralized one since it's a single payer system) and midwives at band 5 and 6. Neither get paid well at all...NNPs make about what I made as a RN and midwives even less, but they don't do nursing school, they do a direct entry program.
    The cost of an NNP program can sometimes be subsidized by your employer in the NHS in return for a work commitment of a few years, so the low wages are somewhat offset by the lack of loans/debt, but yeah, the NHS in general is paid much worse than healthcare professionals in the US. One of the reasons I left and came back stateside :-/
  13. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from babyNP.
    When I first started college I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist until I shadowed one (thankful that I did!) and realized it was not for me.
    Heck, when I first started college I was going to major in classics and become a high school Latin teacher Glad I changed my mind early enough and was at a university where I could transfer internally to the nursing school!
  14. by   RobynB0106
    I mean all infants and I realize NNPs work more with critically ill infants more than the well ones. If I wanted to work with just well Infants I wouldn't be considering becoming an NNP. I get there's a difference between delivering healthy babies and Taking care of ill premature babies with complications and I know midwives do way more than just deliver babies and there can still be complications in the delivery room. I really just want to know your guys thought on pros and cons of each one really.
    Last edit by RobynB0106 on Sep 13 : Reason: I want to write more

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