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Five Semesters to Midwife

I’m pretty sure I had reported that I was accepted into the School of Nursing at Emory University for the Family Nurse Midwife program. It is a five semester program that will prepare me to be a baby-catcher, but will also prepare me to provide primary care to everyone from infant to elderly. Think family physician with a nursing focus.

I may also have mentioned that I will be participating in a dual degree program with the School of Public Health. I will be studying global health with a concentration on community development. This will train me to enter a community, assess the needs and resources, and help the community develop solutions that work for them.

This is tremendously exciting in itself, but the blessings continue to flow.

I traveled to Atlanta for an interview last week. I was one of 16 finalist for a Woodruff Fellowship – four semesters of tuition and fees for the School of Nursing paid. When my flight touched down in Albany to return home I found a message on my phone from the school. I quickly called back to learn I had been awarded the Fellowship. This is a tremendous blessing, and means I will not have to take out loans for about $70,000 of the education. This means I will be able to start schools and clinics faster.

Moving requires many changes for our family. We have put our house on the market, and it has sold. We leave Albany May 17 for a two bedroom apartment across from campus. We love that I can bike or walk to classes, we love the amenities at the apartment and we anticipate loving the children’s schools (yes, we have already looked into them). We will be spending a few days in Atlanta for spring break so we can all begin to feel comfortable in our new home.

So the next few weeks will be filled with packing and moving. In addition to moving our home, we have to move my Birthing Naturally business and Jeff’s job. Jeff’s job is even more difficult because in addition to changing locations he will be changing roles. I’m sure he will be excited to tell everyone all about that.

So that is life around here for the moment.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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