The road to CNM

Posted
by Specialscar Specialscar, BSN, RN, EMT-B Member Student

Has 1 years experience.

Hi! I'm finishing up my accelerated BSN in May 2020, and plan to (hopefully) attend Georgetown for my DNP. Several questions: I'm up there in age (42) and really really REALLY hate the idea that has been beaten into me - that I MUST put in a year or 2 of med-surg before possibly dreaming of working on L&D. That, in my mind, means I'll have to work 1-2 years doing something I dislike, then hoping I can get a placement as L&D nurse, then apply for my doctorate. . .another 3 full time years. That would be fine if I was in my 20's, but as it were, my oldest child will be 20 next year. . .in my perfect world I'd get some birthing experience as an RN, then apply to begin my DNP within the year. 

Here's my question (I won't even ask about the med-surg bc everyone I ask says there's no way I'll get onto L&D out of school. . .I'll just continue to be naive and positive though!) - can I get into midwifery school without experience in maternity? Of course I would want it - I've offered to volunteer already. . .worse comes to worse my CNM friend will hire me as a homebirth assistant, but that's nowhere near an RN salary, and I'm unsure how that experience will transfer to my resume. Sigh. . .

Can anyone share their journey with me? Any older midwives that began later in life? 

Feeling a little dismayed. . .

Sabrina

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience. 1,608 Posts

Yes, you can absolutely get into midwifery school without maternity experience, given that many midwifery programs are now direct-entry, meaning the students have no nursing experience whatsoever.  I think any nursing experience is good, and some experience in women's health is great (I don't necessarily think you HAVE to do L&D, midwifery is about more than just catching babies), but plenty of programs will accept you without it.

Specialscar

Specialscar, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 1 years experience. 47 Posts

Thank you!! I literally just got off the phone with the nth professor who is telling me that I really need med-surg experience, and that after that I could get at least 2 years of maternity nursing experience before even attempting to apply for my DNP. At least she was sweet about it, but I don't buy that answer. I came here to check if anyone had replied and lo and behold! Your answer gives me the hope that I can do this before I turn 50!! Thank you!

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience. 1,608 Posts

15 minutes ago, Specialscar said:

Thank you!! I literally just got off the phone with the nth professor who is telling me that I really need med-surg experience, and that after that I could get at least 2 years of maternity nursing experience before even attempting to apply for my DNP. At least she was sweet about it, but I don't buy that answer. I came here to check if anyone had replied and lo and behold! Your answer gives me the hope that I can do this before I turn 50!! Thank you!

Wow what schools are these?  And you don't *have* to get a DNP either, despite what the professors at many DNP programs will tell you.

Laura_CNM

Laura_CNM

2 Posts

I wouldn't worry about Med/Surg... just go work with women/infants in some capacity (postpartum, NICU, antepartum, L&D). Any of those will be helpful with CNM school. You will learn great skills. Also I worked as a PRN birth assistant before going back to school and it was great experience. Maybe you can get a RN job and pick up on call shifts with your friend. 

ad202

ad202

8 Posts

I'm in a similar boat! I am hoping to do an accelerated BSN program in 2021 and then apply to CNM/WHNP programs. Also hoping to be done before I'm 50! I don't know about DNP programs, but I have heard from some CNM/WHNP programs that you don't necessarily need L&D experience before applying. Good luck to you!

James75

James75

41 Posts

I got hired straight into L&D our of nursing school, as did the majority of labor nurses I know. 

Specialscar

Specialscar, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 1 years experience. 47 Posts

Update - I got into Georgetown and never got hired as an RN - which boggles my mind - probably applied to 60 or 70 jobs in the pandemic and in NJ while others I graduated with were hired - what’s up with that?!? Then it turns out I don’t have time to work bc I’m going FT. So it’s like a direct entry program for me but I have so much more confidence than I did a few months ago. I am sometimes super nervous, but it’s more about how others are going to perceive and treat me - I get a sense that almost every nurse out there believes you need to pay your dues before moving on to an APN, although a CNM is a path of its own. I’m still just upset and honestly mad that I never even got an interview with any hospital - I’m vaccinated and available and up until a few weeks ago, willing to work anywhere in my super congested area! I feel like hospitals can’t be that short staffed if they’re not hiring licensed nurses (we were all new once) - also I took it personally bc I saw all my cohort getting jobs at the places that never called me back! Wth?

aglow18

aglow18

Specializes in Lactation Consultant, CNM/WHNP Student. Has 1 years experience. 15 Posts

12 hours ago, Specialscar said:

Update - I got into Georgetown and never got hired as an RN - which boggles my mind - probably applied to 60 or 70 jobs in the pandemic and in NJ while others I graduated with were hired - what’s up with that?!? Then it turns out I don’t have time to work bc I’m going FT. So it’s like a direct entry program for me but I have so much more confidence than I did a few months ago. I am sometimes super nervous, but it’s more about how others are going to perceive and treat me - I get a sense that almost every nurse out there believes you need to pay your dues before moving on to an APN, although a CNM is a path of its own. I’m still just upset and honestly mad that I never even got an interview with any hospital - I’m vaccinated and available and up until a few weeks ago, willing to work anywhere in my super congested area! I feel like hospitals can’t be that short staffed if they’re not hiring licensed nurses (we were all new once) - also I took it personally bc I saw all my cohort getting jobs at the places that never called me back! Wth?

Hey! When do you start Georgetown? I just got accepted as well! CNM/WHNP! 

Specialscar

Specialscar, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 1 years experience. 47 Posts

Hi! I graduated my ABSN in May, passed the NCLEX in July, and started Georgetown in August! I’m looking for per diem work now though, I waiver from day to day with anxiety not having any experience besides clinicals. Congrats! It’s been a wonderful experience so far with the university - they are extremely personal

and of course quality. You’ll love it!

aglow18

aglow18

Specializes in Lactation Consultant, CNM/WHNP Student. Has 1 years experience. 15 Posts

1 hour ago, Specialscar said:

Hi! I graduated my ABSN in May, passed the NCLEX in July, and started Georgetown in August! I’m looking for per diem work now though, I waiver from day to day with anxiety not having any experience besides clinicals. Congrats! It’s been a wonderful experience so far with the university - they are extremely personal

and of course quality. You’ll love it!

Oh whoop sorry I misread the timeline! That's so exciting! So glad to hear it's been a great program so far! I graduate my ABSN this November and was accepted into the May 2022 cohort. I am also a bit nervous about not having worked as an L&D RN, but hoping my Lactation Consultant and doula works helps out! 

rebecuna

rebecuna

Specializes in pediatrics. Has 5 years experience. 14 Posts

mid-way through CNM program and I just took a job in L&D to gain some experience before becoming a midwife. I contemplated not doing it (I'm a peds nurse with lots of NICU experience and was a doula before becoming a nurse so I have some relevant background) but as I've gotten further in the program I'm starting to feel "behind" my classmates who already understand the flow of hospital birth, labor, procedures, etc. much more than me. Since it is very likely that my first midwifery job will be in a hospital setting, I feel like it will be beneficial to understand that world better. I also talked to a new-midwife-friend who said that I should do whatever it takes to get a job in L&D before I become a midwife, just for the confidence it will give me when I'm the provider. She didn't and said she can tell a huge difference between herself and other new midwives with that background. So, not to scare you, and you have to do what's right for you, but something else to consider! Good luck!!