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What is the quickest way to become a registered nurse midwife? Does it help to have experience shadowing? If so, what are some more opportunities to make the process faster?

I want to know the quickest and most efficient way to get through this process of becoming a nurse midwife. Also, am I less likely to get a job opportunity if I go to online college for my BA? Thanks!

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Karen !

Being a Midwife is such a wonderful and serious career choice. You will be very important in taking care of numerous health situations as well as actually delivering babies for low risk births in hospital or in people's homes . I see your concern about not wanting to go to school for a long time for this or even at an in person college and I would like to give you some advice on what you've asked.

Very common in the United States as well as in Europe and world wide, Midwifery was popular but was in existence from the beginning of time. In the 1800s, the medical profession was gaining popularity and women began going to hospitals, but many women still wanted options so midwifery stayed around. Today there are only 15,000 certified midwifes in the U.S. So this is a career with a very, very long tradition which keeps improving with modern advancements. It's a smart and fabulous career choice.

I hope that you are understanding of my advice as this career is very highly specialized and you are responsible for the well being and safety of people. You will have to go in person to become a nurse and than precise education for Midwifery. This will not be an academic study that you can do on line or cut corners with. You would be required to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and than licensed and that test has up to 145 questions. You than will have to get employment in a clinical setting and enroll in a graduate nursing midwife program. It is a needed process to go through all these steps. It must be done in person on site.

One of the foremost qualities a Midwife needs is patience. If you are meant to go into this career, you will have patience with people as well as doing all that is needed to become a skilled and efficient Midwife. You will also need to do well under stress and truly care about people. I am not certain that it would be easy to shadow a Midwife especially because care that they give is confidential and private, not for display.

If 6 - 8 years of on site study and experience sounds to be too much for you, there are many other careers that you can look into by doing a search on line. I also want to advise that it may not be most beneficial to choose a career based on the length of time it takes and how quickly the course of study is. You will be able to make a decision for a career you really love if you do first hand research now by looking into information on the internet and watching informative videos about careers.

Please do not worry or be anxious about a career. You will eventually come across something that will meet all of your requirements and most of all, you should base your career choice on something that you love and focus on the steps you need to take to develop into the best professional that you can be !

Best wishes to you along your career discovery journey !
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Nikki’s Answer

The quickest way to get to your goal at least on the schooling end would be to get your ADN st a community college (2 years), then sit your NCLEX test to get your RN license.

At this point you'd start working, ideally on a labor and delivery floor in the hospital but any women's health nursing job will start your practical knowledge.

While working, you can do a bridge program to your BSN online (12-18 months for most programs but I have heard of self paced programs you can complete faster).

It is generally recommended that you have a minimum of 2 years working experience before applying to master's programs to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) but that's of course a recommendation. You can go faster but that's not necessarily a good thing. A CNM is an advanced nursing degree so you ideally should have a strong nursing foundation gained by working in the field.

I know waiting to get there can feel frustrating but in my experience as a patient and a colleague, you can absolutely tell which CNM (or any advanced nurse practioner) went straight through school without a lot of nursing work and those that worked a while. Moms, fellow nurses you'll be working with and babies you'll bring into the world want the most experienced person they can get.
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Martin’s Answer

Sure thing, it's essential to remember that while there are shortcuts, you'll still need to fulfill all the necessary requirements to qualify for the nursing boards. This might mean committing to a 2-year program or even earning a bachelor's degree. Without the practical and theoretical studies, tackling the boards could be quite a challenge. Plus, the real learning starts when you've been practicing for at least six months post-licensing. I totally get the eagerness to jump into the field, but these hands-on experiences are crucial to becoming a competent nurse in any area. I've known many nurses who excelled academically and were great at writing papers, but I wouldn't necessarily want them as my nurse!
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