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Questions Regarding CNM/WHNP

Posted

Hi, there! I am seriously looking into becoming a CNM/WHNP, but I have a LOT of questions about the field and how to get there. Here are some of my questions:

  • What is the typical work week like for a CNM and/or WHNP?
  • What are some of the main differences in lifestyle between having one's own practice and joining a group practice?
  • Is it possible to work 20ish (no more than 25) hours per week in this field?
  • How does malpractice insurance work? Is there a stark difference in the malpractice insurance rates of CNMs, WHNPs, and CNM/WHNPs?
  • Is it absolutely necessary to have nursing experience (as in a job, not education/clinicals) before joining a CNM/WHNP program, or is it possible to get a BSN, get RN licensed, and join a CNM/WHNP directly without any nursing experience?
  • If I become a childbirth educator (planning on becoming certified through Lamaze and/or Bradley Method), will it help me in pursuing a CNM/WHNP career?
  • Is it possible to get a BSN and CNM/WHNP by going to school part time instead of full time?
  • Is it difficult to find a job in this field in Nebraska?

Thanks in advance for all of your replies!

Is there another section to post in that would be more fitting for this discussion?

biggolp

Specializes in Certified Nurse Midwife.

Hi, Maryam's Mom!

I see that you are new... Welcome!

I am not qualified to answer your questions (still a pre-nursing student - albeit an aspriring CNM) but I am sure you will get some answers soon.

You posted in the right place but there is not a lot of activity on this board so you need to be a little patient.

Meanwhile, scroll through older posts as I'm sure some of your questions may have been answered in the past.

Good luck!

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Hi, there! I am seriously looking into becoming a CNM/WHNP, but I have a LOT of questions about the field and how to get there. Here are some of my questions:

  • What is the typical work week like for a CNM and/or WHNP? The work week will vary so much between different practices it's hard to say. My personal schedule in a 15-midwife, city hospital group is: two 12-hour shifts on L&D (one night, one day) and two 8 hour days in the clinic, per week. We don't take call, so the patients get whoever is on L&D the day they go into labor, although we try to establish them with one midwife for the pregnancy in the clinic. Again, this will vary extremely widely.
  • What are some of the main differences in lifestyle between having one's own practice and joining a group practice? One's own solo practice requires being on call 24/7, whereas a group practice will not, generally.
  • Is it possible to work 20ish (no more than 25) hours per week in this field? Yes, but I would venture to say it might be impossible to do this as a new grad.
  • How does malpractice insurance work? Is there a stark difference in the malpractice insurance rates of CNMs, WHNPs, and CNM/WHNPs? Malpractice insurance for CNMs is much more expensive due to the liability that comes with doing deliveries. Unless you have a solo practice, however, your practice or hospital will cover this cost.
  • Is it absolutely necessary to have nursing experience (as in a job, not education/clinicals) before joining a CNM/WHNP program, or is it possible to get a BSN, get RN licensed, and join a CNM/WHNP directly without any nursing experience? It is possible to become a CNM with no nursing experience, but you are more limited in your choice of midwifery education programs.
  • If I become a childbirth educator (planning on becoming certified through Lamaze and/or Bradley Method), will it help me in pursuing a CNM/WHNP career? It can't hurt, but it may not be a deciding factor that gets you a job.
  • Is it possible to get a BSN and CNM/WHNP by going to school part time instead of full time? It's possible to do pre-requisites part-time but generally clinicals for both undergrad and midwifery are full-time by the end of the program.
  • Is it difficult to find a job in this field in Nebraska? That I have no idea, as I'm in NY. The ACNM website, midwife.org, can help you find the contact info for the state or local affiliates, which could help you connect with midwives in your area who could hopefully answer your specific questions about midwifery in Nebraska.

Thanks in advance for all of your replies!

Hope that helped!

Biggolp-Thanks for the warm welcome and reassurance that I posted in the right place! I will scroll through some of the older posts...thanks for the tip!

LibraSunCNM-Thank you so much! Your answers helped a lot! Two more follow up questions based on your responses: Would it be more likely that a WHNP (with no CNM) would be able to work 25 max hrs/week, or is your statement that it would be nearly impossible as a new grad to get hours like that applicable to both CNM and WHNP? You stated that clinicals are full-time by the end of the program: how long would the full-time clinicals last?

Biggolp-Thanks for the warm welcome and reassurance that I posted in the right place! I will scroll through some of the older posts...thanks for the tip!

LibraSunCNM-Thank you so much! Your answers helped a lot! Two more follow up questions based on your responses: Would it be more likely that a WHNP (with no CNM) would be able to work 25 max hrs/week, or is your statement that it would be nearly impossible as a new grad to get hours like that applicable to both CNM and WHNP? You stated that clinicals are full-time by the end of the program: how long would the full-time clinicals last?

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

It is still hard to find a job, either WHNP or CNM, with part-time hours right out of school. Employers would generally want you to have experience working full time before you can reduce your hours. It would be like a new grad nurse working per diem straight out of school. You have to have a base of experience first. Is that set in stone? No. However, if your job options are limited to one particular state, you might not want to limit them even more.

Undergrad nursing programs vary so widely in their clinical schedules that I can't really generalize. For midwifery, generally the last semester is the one that is full time.

What is your major concern with full time hours, do you have children?

I see...that makes sense! Thanks!

Yes I do have children. Time with them and my hubby is what I feel is most important in my life right now, hence the desire for a part time only job ;)

The vast majority of CNM programs require at least 1 year of nursing experience, although not all. One that I can think of off the top of my head is PhilaU's program. You can apply while in your last semester of nursing school.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

Sorry, that was a stupid question above. Just realized your user name makes it clear you are a mom!

Thank you, DreamerCNM! I will look into PhilaU :)

haha that's okay! There are no stupid questions here ;)

Most job announcements for CNM's list: 2 years full-time experience or new grad with significant L&D experience

What about stair-stepping your path to advanced practice. Become an RN (which is required to become an ARNP). Work in the hospitals doing shift work. The hospitals will want you to work full-time, but usually after you have a year of experience under your belt you can decrease your hours. Depending upon where you work, you can even adjust your schedule to be family friendly. Two 12 hour shifts a week gives you 5 days off while you draw part-time pay and benefits.

Gain experience and street cred first. Then, slowly add in the coursework for advanced practice. As your family grows up, you have more free time to study while the kids are at school.

If you jump into advanced practice immediately and fast-track it, the time demands for you are intense. Not a problem for 20-somethings with no family. Big problem for women with small families. Then, starting in advanced practice as a new grad, you can expect to work 40-60 hours a week minimum to get up to speed. Keep in mind you are usually salaried, so the more you work the less you get paid. With staff nursing, the more you work, the more you get paid (overtime!).

Your family is only young for a short period of time. Enjoy that stage. Your job does not define you. Consider your career path a marathon, not a sprint. And good luck!

Consider your career path a marathon, not a sprint.

THANK YOU! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I would honestly enjoy the path much more if I took my time, and I was just telling my hubby the other night that I don't want to rush it and make it the focus of my life (at least for now), but there is so much pressure from everyone else to get it done asap! Thanks again for your encouragement and suggestions! :)

Thanks for the info! I will keep that in mind! :)