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I am starting from ground zero and could do an accelerated "direct entry" CNM in 3 years (plus one year of pre-reqs) or go to a MEAC school for 3 years. Does anyone have any perspective on which would be easier on the family?
 

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No perspective from personal experience....I'd say it depends on what you really want--in terms of a style of practicing. And where you live--the laws, availability of practice, etc.<br><br>
Me, I could never be a CNM...the medically oriented training and the medicalized practice expectations would go so much against my grain! (yes, I do know there are CNMs out there who don't much use their 'med' knowledge, and instead use more traditional 'with woman' approach--but still, there are constraints concerning the maintenance of a certification). But for some, being a CNM would be more ideal, because their desires are different than mine as midwives--or simply because they want to know that as RNs first, they could ALWAYS get an RN type job in a pinch. Or as CNMs, could work in a hospital setting if they needed to, have a regular schedule and such.<br><br>
What do you want to be as a midwife? And where will you be--what are the laws/regs, population size and general expectations? Perhaps pondering those questions can help you get clearer.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I am starting from ground zero and could do an accelerated "direct entry" CNM in 3 years (plus one year of pre-reqs) or go to a MEAC school for 3 years. Does anyone have any perspective on which would be easier on the family?</div>
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Well if it is the CM program you are looking at (I did) I found that the requirements and cost were about equal to a CNM, but offered me nothing in terms of credentialing in my area. Its just not accepted here. So I could spend a ton of money to get a CM (not accepted by the state or by any OB/Hospital so not helping me with a transport situations at all) or spend the same ton of money and get a nationally recognized credential. In my area it is hard to get an apprenticeship that actually ends in getting the CPM. Just not a lot of full time committed preceptors available and/or willing to put the time in.
 

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Where did you find a 3 year CNM program starting from scratch? It's usually a master's degree which is the equivalent of about 6 years of school unless you already have a degree of some sort.
 

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I'm curious, too - can you be a CNM w/o a nursing degree? Even an accelerated program would take at least 15 mos to complete the RN component, and then 2+ years for the midwifery training.<br><br>
Anyhow, I can't comment on how one vs. the other impacts family time after you have became a midwife, but both are of course birth work, which means being on call. CNM's, if they work in a big enough practice, will likely be able to schedule ahead of time when they will be on-call, but from having a mom who is a CNM, I can say that most work a lot more than 40 hrs a week between prenatal visits, postpartum, rounds (hospital or home), and of course the tons of hours for labor/birth. You might work 24+ hours straight, and still have to see clients in the office/home the next day.<br><br>
That all said, i would personally go the CNM route b/c I could always work as an RN if necessary (either instead of a midwife, or to supplement income and get health insurance).<br><br>
It really depends on the state you plan to work in, and of course your birthing philosophy.
 

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At times I found the chaos of my apprenticeship hard to handle. I had a three-year-old when I started and also had a baby before I finished. The midwives basically set the schedule however they wanted -- there were plenty of times when we were scheduled to see people right at pickup time for the daycare or when the schedule changed at the last minute. Also I was on call for births 24/7. I also had to work as a doula and freelance writer to survive financially. I did do some community college classes, as much to get the student loan check as to learn from the classes themselves. But I only have about $6000 of student loan debt from that time. CNM school might have produced a whole lot more.<br><br>
On the other hand, we only worked about 20-25 hours a week, including births. I was able to take a maternity leave for births while still attending prenatals and postnatals (I brought my son to work until he was 14 months old and took 5 months off of births) and when I finished my apprenticeship, I had the ability to tailor my practice to be just the way I wanted it.<br><br>
I think that CNM school is more hours, especially in the first year and the last semester of the last year. It has the potential to be more expensive, but if you work in a hospital, you will make more money than as a homebirth midwife. If you are thinking of working as a homebirth midwife for sure when you're done, you should be very careful of which school you choose. Some CNM programs will leave you totally unprepared to work in out-of-hospital settings.<br><br>
I think it is important to think too about the life you want after school is done.
 

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Yale has a graduate entry nurse-midwifery program. You need a bachelor's degree in anything except nursing but there are no pre-requisite courses. It is three years long.<br><br>
There are other schools who have very similar programs but they do require pre-reqs. You can do a search for them on the ACNM website.<br><br>
These schools are obviously pretty expensive and will leave you with debt but there are opportunities for scholarships and loan forgivement programs.
 

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A program for CNMs would be easier for my family, by far! So would working as a CNM. My heart, however, is firmly in out of hospital birth, which is very difficult to do for CNMs here. I want to be the community midwife, and that's hard work. I am willing to accept the hard work and sacrifice a little bit more in terms of family. But, I have a totally willing, supportive spouse who wants this as much as I do, and kids who are old enough to understand that I am helping other children and mommies, which is very important work, and a birth community that is incredible.<br><br>
So to sum up: CNM is easier, but not where my greatest gift intersects with the world's greatest need. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I'd probably approach this by talking to some local professionals who are doing what you want. Are they CMs or CNMs? If a local birth center will hire both, for example (and say that's where you'd like to work) do the CNMs get paid more than the CMs?<br><br>
I guess my inclination would be to go the CNM route rather than the CM if it gets you where you want to go. This is because at the end of the day it allows you a lot more flexibility in terms of licensing and practicing in all 50 states, in a variety of settings. Then again, if you cant do what you want to do with a CNM, choose the other option
 

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Your question is short sighted. Once your education is over, which practice is easier on your family... CPM or CNM? What obstacles will you run into professionally that may differ between credentials? What will your income potential, choices for location of practice, and scope of practice be?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you Defenestrator.. That's what I was looking for. More hours to do CNM but more chaos to do CPM.<br><br>
I know the differences/scope/pay/where they practice afterward. I have a friend that just started nursing school here locally that quit her apprenticeship because she thought it was too hard on the family. But now she is in school FULL TIME and will be for years. I was wondering how that could be better but now I see. Thanks for the insight!
 
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