Fall semester started this week.  I am starting ANOTHER year of nursing school.  I am trying to remember back to when I began this journy in January 2008. Would I have started nursing school if I knew I would be a student in 2016? I can’t tell you its been easy to have minimal income this long, but for me nursing school wasn’t about getting a job, it was about fulfilling a mission — to improve the safety of pregnancy and birth. I would probably have signed up for nursing school anyway. In this final year of my schooling I look at the extent of myRead More →

This semester I am teaching an online class. This is my first fully online course, though I have worked in hybrid courses.  It has me thinking about the online and distance education options available to aspiring midwives. Of course I decided to share my experiences of problems with you, to help you decide if online education is the right mode for your training. Yes, these suggestions do come from real problems and real students.Read More →

I hope this has been an interesting, and educational, month for you. We talked about what you need to know to be a midwife, and how your life goals will dictate what type of midwifery education you should pursue. We explored the role of midwifery regulation in determining the educational options you have. We examined the pros and cons of training outside the United States and using distance learning programs. We shared tricks for getting the most out of a preceptorship. We discussed the reasons for certification by competency exam, and why this is the minimum standard. As you move forward, I would love toRead More →

After making all the other considerations and decisions necessary to define your midwifery path, you will probably be faced with a test for midwifery certification. The idea of competency testing has never bothered me personally, quite possibly because I am a good test taker.  While I know standardized tests result in skewed passing rates (with minorities faring worse), this isn’t really the complaint I ever hear about midwifery certification tests.  Instead, would-be midwives complain the test is meaningless and doesn’t prove you are a good midwife.  I hope such concerns won’t keep any potential midwife from seeking certification, so here are a few other waysRead More →

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about credentialing and licensing – the reason for all the letters at the end of a name.  It isn’t always easy to understand how the whole process works, especially when you are just looking into midwifery as an option. So, my full title (right now) is:  Jennifer Vanderlaan, MSN MPH RN CNM FNP What does all that mean?Read More →

No matter what type of midwifery training you pursue, you will work with preceptors.  Some programs require you to find your own preceptor — which can be nearly impossible in some regions. Other programs assign students to preceptors — which means you may have additional travel costs and spend more time away from family. Regardless of how your preceptor is assigned, how do you use this relationship to become the best midwife you can be?  Here are some ideas.Read More →

When we talk about midwifery training outside the US, we could focus the discussion in one of two ways.  One way would be to talk about the training available outside the US for those who will work outside the US.  The second is to talk about training outside the US for those who intend to work inside the US.  This discussion will be about the later — training outside the US to be licensed as a midwife in the US.Read More →

Is choosing a midwifery training program confusing?  It can be. This is because when you select your training program you are really selecting up to three things: and educational degree, a competency certification, and a government issued license or registration. The educational degree You can find midwifery training programs around the world that will provide you with all levels of educational degrees, from no degree to a doctorate practice. This is important for two reasons. First, some areas limit the practice of midwives to a minimum educational degree regardless of ability to pass a competency certification exam. If you select a program that does not meetRead More →