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Economical midwife education

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I am trying to find out what the most economical way to become a midwife in Tennessee is.  Let me say right up front, I'm not trying to "do it cheap."  I want a good education, and I want to be sure I comply with the necessary requirements to be certified in my state (Tennessee) and to be a safe and competent midwife.  But, as I am sure many people are right now, our family is on a shoestring, and if there is a less-expensive and a more-expensive way to go, I would like to find out that information.

 

In Tennessee, to be a CPM, the state requires NARM certification.  I live not far from Summertown, and I would like to go through some of their courses, but I think some of the distance classes from other institutions might be less expensive.  I also have some reservations about spiritual overtones, as I am a committed Christian.

 

My background:  I have a bachelor's degree in journalism.  I have been home, raising my children, most of the time since 1985.  I homeschooled for 19 years, but my youngest just graduated high school and I am looking for a change in careers.  I have helped birth dogs, goats, and other animals. I love babies and have a heart for young women.  I have a calm temperament and a strong stomach.  Midwifery is something I have been thinking about for quite a while, and now that the kids are flying the nest I am looking at it more seriously.

 

Does anyone have any advice for me?  I am open to any suggestions.  TIA.

post #2 of 39

I'm doing the Midwife To Be online program. I think it's great so far, and it is very affordable. You pay $50 to get started (plus a few books) and then $25 per unit after that. It comes out to about $800 when you graduate. I liked that it wasn't a lot up front, so that if you find you don't like it, you can move on to another program without being out hundreds or thousands. The pay per unit also is super helpful. The goal of the program is one unit per month, and almost anyone can afford $25 dollars a month plus a few dollars for the next books you'll need.

 

It isn't MEAC accredited, so you would have to apprentice along with it, and it is really designed for that. It is pretty much all of the "academics" you'll need, you just need to find your own "clinical" aspect of the training. I think The Farm could provide some valuable experience, I was actually looking at doing their midwife assistant training in November, just to get some hands on since I am not currently apprenticing. Couple that with your online academics and a great apprenticeship and you'd have one rockin' education, IMO.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information, WildDoula.  I looked at MidwifeToBe's web site yesterday, and the price is certainly good.  I was wondering, though, what you would have to add to it.  How many hours of apprenticeship is required?

post #4 of 39

MTB isn't all the acdemics you'll need, to clarify, midwifery is going to be a lifelong commitment to continuing education. :)

For information about apprenticeship go to the NARM website and check out the PEP process. It's not about hours but numbers of births attended. I know midwives that have apprenticed for a decade or more, or some that apprenticed for just a couple years. Depends on who you find to apprentice with, and how you choose to apprentice.

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post

MTB isn't all the acdemics you'll need, to clarify, midwifery is going to be a lifelong commitment to continuing education. :)
 



I understand that.  I learned about "lifelong commitment to continuing education" in teaching my kids all those years.  Especially with something as important as midwifery, I understand it would be essential.

 

I'll check out the NARM web site for additional information on apprenticeship.  But do you know, off the top of your head, how many births satisfy the apprenticeship requirement?

post #6 of 39
Oh I just meant initial academics of course, to certify as a CPM for the first time and start your practice. CEU opportunites are a bit easier to come by, and aren't as much of a commitment as the initial block of academics IMO.

And I agree with the PP, apprenticeship is about numbers and what you're comfortable with. You may feel confident in your skills after completing the minimum requirements, or you may need more. Depends on how you work with your chosen preceptor, what you've gotten a chance to be a part of as far as "unusual," etc.
post #7 of 39

I am looking at a program from The Living Tree International School of Midwifery. They are a non-profit school and they base your tuition on your income and expenses and your ability to pay. Here's a link to their website http://www.birthandwellness.com/school/index.php

 

It is only academics- you are responsible for finding a preceptor to work with for your PEP.

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thank you, BlessedEarthMother.  I checked out their web site, and emailed them.

post #9 of 39

I was a previous midwifery student through midwife to be.  Since it was mentioned, I thought I'd share my experience. 

 

 

I had originally began the midwife to be program - went through 8 months of it - and decided it was not for me.  Basically, you pay $25 per lesson.  Each lesson there is a reading assignment, one project, and a few skills to 'master'.  That is it.  It's very self directed.  No actual teaching at all.  No lectures, studies, ect...  I guess the idea between DEM/CPM education programs is that you learn 90% of your information through your apprenticeship with hands on learning.  If that is something that appeals to you, midwife to be may be a great option!  If you need a little more direction and want more than just a reading assignment, I'd search out more options.

 

In fact, I decided midwifery as a CPM/DEM was not for me after learning many things that my eyes had previously not been open to.  I am now finishing up my nursing degree and pursuing midwifery as a certified nurse midwife. 

 

 

Are you set on midwifery through the route of a DEM/CPM?  You already hold a bachelor's degree and it would only take a few nursing classes to prepare you for a masters in midwifery to be a CNM.  Many states, CNMs work in hospitals, birth centers, and do home births as well.  Just something to think about since you mentioned you were open to all suggestions!

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

I did not think a bachelor's degree in Journalism would in any way help me with the educational requirements of Nursing.

 

After talking with my husband on this subject, I am wondering about the emotional impact of any unsuccessful births that might occur under my care.  How do those of you who are practicing midwives handle a death or injury of mother or baby if/when it happens?

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by growerotl View Post

I did not think a bachelor's degree in Journalism would in any way help me with the educational requirements of Nursing.

 

After talking with my husband on this subject, I am wondering about the emotional impact of any unsuccessful births that might occur under my care.  How do those of you who are practicing midwives handle a death or injury of mother or baby if/when it happens?


 

There are programs that take you (very quickly!) from a bachelors degree in any other field, directly to a masters degree.  It's a bridge type program that "bridges the gap" so to speak.

 

I have a sick nursling and am NAKing right now, but I'll come back with links to what I'm referring too!

 

post #12 of 39

Ok - it is called an accelerated BSN.  What it does is takes all the 'regular' college classes you have already taken (basics/pre-req such as maths, sciences, history, english, ect..) and gives you credit for those as well as credit for classes take in any other field.  It then gives you a fast track nursing program that packs in all the necessary nursing classes for a BSN into approximately a 12-14 month program.  So, instead of starting over from scratch - you can get a BSN in approximately a year.   http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/accelerated-bsn/

 

 


After that, there are many MSN-Midwifery programs online that allow you to obtain your masters.  Frontier is one of the top one's.  East Carolina is another.  Both of these are 100% online with 2-3 trips to the institution during the 2yr degree (frontier is in kentucky, east carolina is in north carolina).  Clinicals are arranged in your own hometown from frontier, but east carolina the clinicals are done only in NC.  There are many other online MSN programs as well that allow the clinicals to be completed in your hometown.

 

post #13 of 39
The most important thing to determine is which type of midwife you want to be. There is a huge difference in both practice and ideology between direct entry and nurse midwives. There is also a big difference between midwives who attend homebirth and those who do clinic births.

I am a student with Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. It suits the type of midwife I want to become, as well as my learning style. I enjoy the academic support and feel like it is a good value for my money. The emphasis is on serving women and families and possessing knowledge and skills that exceed NARM standards.
post #14 of 39

Have you checked out the book Paths to Becoming a Midwife?

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by growerotl View Post

 

After talking with my husband on this subject, I am wondering about the emotional impact of any unsuccessful births that might occur under my care.  How do those of you who are practicing midwives handle a death or injury of mother or baby if/when it happens?

 I think this would be a subject for a new thread. Odds are, you are going to experience the loss of an infant at some point. You have to be prepared for this. Birth does not exist without death. Things don't always turn out the way we want them to. Of course it is not going to be an easy thing to go through. But you have to decide if you will be able to accept that as part of your job or not.
 

 

post #16 of 39

Something to keep in mind- if you decide you want to do the second degree program to become a nurse, different schools require different prerequisites to get in, and a lot of the schools have the grades for the prerequisites on the points system and you have to take a nursing school entrance exam.

 

Another option - Excelsior College. If you are a LPN, Respiratory Therapist, Midwife, Paramedic, or previous nursing stuident with at least 50% of your clinicals completed within the last five years, you can apply. They also accept Mental Health technicians from two states - Arkansas is one of them. Each state has different NCLEX direct licensure requirements, but you can find out if your state has any additional requirement for licensure by going to the Excelsior website at www.excelsior.edu. With Excelsior, you take a test for eight Nursing theory exams, have a three-part objective assessment, and then have to do a hands-on clinical assessment at one of the testing centers they have throughout the country. Best of all, if you are one of the abovementioned licensed/ certified professionals, if you apply, you get in. Our state's board of nursing website actually has a link to their website. I also have a business degree from them and know they are legit. Becoming a Paramedic or LPN may be faster than taking all of the prerequisites through a traditional college. The only drawback to the program with Excelsior is that you cannot get federal financial aid, although they do have links to websites where you can get a private education loan. They also offer payment plans for a lot of it. The hands-on assessment is no joke either (from what I've read via allnurses.com). Another school to look into is Western Governors' University. Their website is www.wgu.edu. They offer a baccaleaureate program. Admissions requirements are a little steep and you have to be in one of the states that has clinical sites (Texas and California for example), but it's all online, and very reasonably priced. You can get federal financial aid as well. Both schools are accredited. Excelsior's nursing program accreditation is through NLNAC and Western Governors is through CCNE and possibly NLNAC as well. Both schools are also regionally accredited. Hope this helps!

post #17 of 39

I had never heard of Midwife To Be until this thread. I just enrolled. I start my apprenticeship in mid-September and just need motivation to study and do book work and I think this will be great for me. I've also done a skillslab through AAMI, which was wonderful, but I read and heard too many mixed reviews about them and the cost is overwhelming.

post #18 of 39

Hi Wild Doula.

 

I was wondering if you know how to get the apprenticeship??? Does the online program offer certain places to you or something. I am just not sure which path to take to become a Midwife.

post #19 of 39
I would just be careful looking at cheap schools, while some are great, some are not comprehensive enough IMO, since there is no official regulation for midwifery schools on three USA. In saying that the institute of holistic midwifery is fairly cheap and looks like a great program

Sent from my Nexus S
post #20 of 39

kharma: Apprenticeship is generally done in your own community. Start making connections with the midwives in your area and let them know who you are and that you're interested in midwifery. Attend a doula training if you can, and join any student midwife circles/study groups you can find in your state. Immerse yourself in your birth community if that is what you want to do. Make yourself known and opportunities will come. Some schools do offer apprenticeship placements, Midwife-To-Be does not.

 

On a side note, I have since discontinued the program and am enrolling in the National College of Midwifery. love.gif I found MTB didn't provide enough depth and direction for me.

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