Suggestions for a wannabe?


I'm a pre-nursing student at my local community college and I am super, 100% sure I want to be a midwife. I have 12 of my own children have done doula work, taught birthing classes, and assisted a home birth based midwife for a short time. I took several years to decide on whether to go the CNM route or the CPM route. I finally decided I wanted to go the CNM route for a number of reasons. I've been given advice by a few nurses about my path and wondered if there is a consensus here about the advice.

I've been told I should be a CNA while going to school because most hospitals in my area hire from within and it will give me valuable experience in learning time management and getting a feel for the medical field.

I've been told I should be a float pool RN because I will learn to see patients as whole people rather than just from the waist down.

I've been told I should not be in float pool, but rather I should be in a med/surg unit to really get a feel for nursing first.

After receiving this advice, I signed up for a nursing assistant class which will overlap with my regular academic classes the first few weeks of Fall semester. I currently have a 4.0, and definitely don't want to jeopardize that with having too many irons in the fire. However, I've been told the homework load for the CNA class is about an hour a week. I can probably manage that in addition to my 12 credits at college.

What about being a CNA while going to school? The key in my situation is that I don't have to work to make ends meet, at least not right now. My husband has been the sole breadwinner while I raised children (still raising them and balancing homeschool, too... my older kids and husband are super helpful and supportive or it would be impossible), and I am getting enough grant and scholarship money to pay all my tuition and books, plus have a little leftover. I would think something where I am called in as needed and don't have to work a 50+ hour work schedule every week would be just right. I'm thinking 1-2 shifts a week would be a great fit.

But to be a good midwife, do I need to be a CNA first? I think being a CNA might be fun for me, and help me make some professional connections, but is it wrong to say that I don't want to get a CNA job in a LTC facility, only in a hospital? I don't want to spend several years as an RN, in any capacity (but if my life circumstances change, I would be thrilled to have my BSN so that I could hold a decent-paying job, if need be). Is it wrong to feel that way? I can't imagine a career as a CNA or as an RN, but think that both will be exciting and valuable on my journey to midwifery. I'm 38 years old and want to move forward on my education so that maybe by the time I am 50 years old, I will finally be a midwife.

Sorry for the rambling. I just want to get a feel from others on a few of these suggestions so that I can mull it over in my mind. I'm all signed up for the CNA course, in any case, and hope I haven't bit off more than I can chew.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

I think it's fantastic that you want to be a CNM because that's a wonderful job. A close friend of mine did that for 20 years and said it was the most fulfilling work she ever did (and she got certified as a nurse midwife later in life as well). I definitely think it couldn't hurt to be a CNA while you're getting through nursing school. After that I'd probably prefer an L&D RN job, but new grads aren't always so lucky, so I'd work wherever I could get employment. They often prefer that you work for a couple years as an RN before going to school to be a CNM. I will offer a word of warning though, the CNM I mentioned said that she got very lucky in regards to the job field and that if she had to do it again, would probably go for FNP and then CNM. For job security.

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife. Has 11 years experience.

Being a CNA will give you lots of experience with patients (especially if you're working in a hospital!) It's not necessary - but it is a great way to get into health care and see how things work.

There are times I wish I had taken a job as a OB tech years ago- this was recommended to me when I was still just dreaming about becoming a midwife - I didn't do it because I didn't want to be working in a hospital - and especially not in an OR where they're doing c-sections all day long. But now, I think that would have been really fantastic experience - for one, you get to be sort of a fly on the wall - and you get to watch how the whole hospital birth thing 'works.'

For all the reasons you listed though - experience, networking, etc - becoming a CNA will help you. It's not necessary at all for becoming a midwife - but it will open doors for you, and you will learn many things.