Which should I do first? RN or Midwifery?

  1. Hi! I'm am graduating from high school next week. I know I want to go into nursing, but I would also like to be a midwife. I want to do both, so which one would be better to do first? I haven't exactly enjoyed school, but I'm excited now that I'm getting into something that I think I will enjoy! I'm just not sure which one to do first and I don't know who else to ask.


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    About Emery

    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 67; Likes: 6
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Med-surg


  3. by   dansamy
    I think to be a CNM, you must have your RN before you can train in midwifery. I'm not sure, though.
  4. by   louloubell1
    CNM = certified NURSE midwife.

    Yes, you must be an RN first to be able to then further your education for a certification in nursing midwifery.

    I do believe, however, that there do exist "midwives" without any type of nursing degree.... illegally practicing in many states, though I don't think it's illegal in all.
  5. by   JWRN
    You have to be an RN to go to Midwifery school. most programs are master's degrees...Good luck....
  6. by   mitchsmom
    There are nurse-midwives (CNM's) and non-nurse midwives (they have various abbreviations because lisensure varies state to state). Non-nurse midwives don't go to nursing school first. They both aspire to use the midwifery model of care, but CNM's are typically trained to do a wider range of medical procedures as well. Nurse midwives may deliver in all settings but do more hospital births on average, non-nurse midwives usually can't work hospital deliveries so they deliver in freestanding birth centers and do homebirths. If you google "How to become a midwife" you'll get a lot of info. Also see www.acnm.org for lots of information on nurse-midwifery. That's what I'm shooting for! Best wishes!
  7. by   CA CoCoRN
    Many CNM programs also require you to have 2-5 years experience in L&D BEFORE you go into a program. Think about it: you'll be practicing as an ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE, therefore, it's mandatory that you have nursing EXPERIENCE.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    unless you go into lay midwifery, i advice you get experience as a labor/delivery nurse FIRST. after a few years, you may either learn enough to advance or decide midwifery is NOT what you want after all. I decided the latter for myself after learning all the politics and pitfalls involved in nurse midwifery. Good luck to you.
  9. by   louloubell1
    The other thing is that if you want to do both, be an RN and a midwife, it make no sense to go the route of the lay-midwife, because the training you may receive in that arena will mean absolutely nothing to the board of nursing and you will not be recognized by them as a CNM.
  10. by   Emery
    Thanks everyone! I really thought that you would have to have some kind of expierence first. It would only make sense. Thanks for all your input!! I really appreciate it!

  11. by   mitchsmom
    To clarify a little more, there is a difference in lay midwifery, direct entry midwifery, and nurse-midwifery. A person can be a direct-entry midwife and not be considered a lay midwife. "The term "Lay Midwife" has been used to designate an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who was educated through informal routes such as self-study or apprenticeship rather than through a formal program.
    A direct-entry midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, or a college- or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. So, a direct-entry midwife is not a nurse first but may or may not be a lay midwife. Some direct-entry midwives who seek formal education and legal liscensing may attend Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) - accredited schools and take the NARM exam for certification as a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). Here's an example of a direct-entry midwife MEAC-approved program at Miami Dade College: http://www.mdcc.edu/pdf/programs/as_..._preselect.pdf (for some reason I can only find the prereqs page)
    another- Midwives College of Utah:

    The different types of midwives and different designations are confusing, here is a page of definitions that is helpful:
  12. by   mother/babyRN
    RN...Definitely...We have a nurse midwife who did not and then had to go through nursing school and now regrets that she didn't do the nurse route first...Now she is getting older and working perdiem as a nurse, having difficulty because although she did get her RN, she only worked as a midwife for many years and is having difficulty with the transition PLUS you learn so much on your way to your eventual goal that can only help you. Good luck!