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How to Prepare for a Switch to Midwifery in Your Nursing Career

Being on the frontlines for the coronavirus is not something anyone could have prepared you for. It is a pandemic that we have never seen or had to deal with before, and it is stretching healthcare systems around the world to their absolute brink. There are just too many people with the same symptoms, and because of this, care is being diverted from other patients who desperately need attention.

If you worked in a hospital before the chaos began, this is probably making you rethink the direction of your career. You will come out of this stronger, of that there is no doubt. However, coming back to work in a hospital to help doesn’t have to mean focusing on the front line, it could mean aiding other areas that promote the more positive aspects of medicine, such as midwifery. It is a great career track that is well-paid and extremely fulfilling.

You won’t just be able to start a new position as a midwife, however. First, you will need to follow the steps outlined in this guide:  

What You Need to Become a Midwife

To become a midwife, or alternatively, a neonatal care nurse (the roles do overlap in many ways), you will need to have a few key credentials first:

1. To Be a Registered Nurse

You will need to be a registered nurse. For those who are not a registered nurse yet, this means there are at least two different levels of nursing you must complete before you can even begin to become a midwife. The fastest way to do this is to directly obtain your BSN. However, do be aware that many nursing specialties will require at least one year of experience on top of a BSN to enroll.

2. Have Years of Practical Experience

As stated, you will often need at least one year of practical experience as an RN. This means that even if you are a nursing assistant (CNA), you will need more time in the field after you achieve your BSN before you can specialize in midwifery.

3. Be Certain it is Your Passion

There are a lot of nursing positions that deal with pregnant women, babies, and children. Make sure that the role you go for is the right one for you. It takes a lot of effort to become an advanced practice registered nurse in midwifery, so you need to know 100% it is what you want to do to persevere with the degree.

Achieving the Midwife Specialty  

With all the necessary qualifications under your belt, the second step is to achieve the degree and the certifications necessary to start your new job as a midwife.

1. Find an Online Degree

Finding the right midwifery course for you is one of the most important steps you will take for your career. You might need an entirely digital degree or one that is completed with both online and on-campus elements. Expect for your degree to take at minimum 2 years, with an average of 3 years to complete.

2. Take the State License Exam

Your degree should provide you with everything that you need to take and pass your state’s license exam. Put as much time into studying as possible so that the information is still fresh, and you have the highest chance of success.

Tips for Helping You Juggle Your Midwife Degree

It is not easy to juggle a midwife degree and a busy job as an RN. That is why you need to build the right support measures before you enroll.

1. Build a Supportive Routine Beforehand

Be consistent with your routines so that you can better incorporate the time you need to study and learn. We are forced to create routines around our jobs, but when you are in charge of your progress, as with online degrees, you need to make time and stick to it. If you cannot study at the same time every day, then at least work in the same location.

2. Ask Friends and Family to Help

You don’t have to do it alone. Ask friends and family for help. You can study or work together so that you stay focussed. Or you can take time out together to help prep lunches or breakfasts for the week in advance. There are many ways your friends can help you stay on track or stay healthy.

3. Try to Make the Most Out of Your Commute

Even if you drive, there are ways that you can learn or at least revise during your commute. If you drive, then turning PDF texts into speak is a good trick to use. For hypertext, meaning you can highlight it and computers can understand it (as opposed to image-based text), you can often right-click on a highlighted section and have your computer or phone speak out the words to you.

Any video lectures can also be listened to on your commute. If you are revising and drive, create voice notes, and put together a playlist so that you can go over what you need to know hands-free.

If you take a train or bus to work, then you have a lot more options. You can read, watch videos, and even take notes. Just use what works best for you.

Moving towards a specialization is excellent for any career. It allows you to focus on an area of medicine that you are most interested in and choose a working environment that suits you best. Midwifery is perfect for those who want to deal with one of the happiest moments in a person’s life, rather than one of the saddest. It might not be the thrill-seeking experience that working in the ER or other departments is, but if that is the pace you are looking for, there will be no substitute.

Be certain of the role you want to play and then find a great online degree to gain your qualifications. You don’t need to take time out from your career to complete your degree and instead can smoothly transition to your dream role.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com