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Certification, Licensure, and Maintenance - Oh My!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Whether you are on cloud 9 after receiving an offer from an employer, or still hunting for the perfect employment, getting a head start on all of the necessary licensure is a vital part of the process. I didn’t have quite all the information I needed when I started, and subsequently did not know I was missing my DEA until a pharmacist called me to deny a prescription. Lesson learned, and love passed on to y'all! Let's make sure you have the full list. Certif...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/25/2013 11:12:56 AM

Completing Midwifery School and Transitioning Into the First Year of Practice

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I am so thankful to have been invited to participate in this year’s ACNM Student Issues Section (SIS) as a new graduate member. One of the main reasons I joined the SIS is to work toward finding the most effective ways to help students optimize training in the last semesters of midwifery school and transition to the first year of practice. Since January of this year I have been serving that purpose by writing for Midwife Connection. Through my blog series “...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/29/2013 1:58:53 PM

Learning in Stride: Evidence and Experience

on things that are not, and perhaps cannot be, taught By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I began outlining this post on the back of an Audre Lorde essay, sent to me by a friend who shared it with other first-year clinicians struggling to make the day-to-day happen. In "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action," excerpted from Sister Outsider, Lorde writes of the time after her breast cancer diagnosis and what she describes as her 'living': "...for every real word spoken, for...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 2/14/2013 10:44:27 AM

Learning in Stride: Space, Place, and Histories

There are only so many rooms. By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN In every clinic, in every hospital, in every birth center, in every home. There are only so many rooms. A history exists in each one, layered by each moment working with women, caring for women, and being a midwife. We spend the majority of our time providing for the people in our care, and perhaps do not also consider the space, its history, and its impact on our work. I attend birth at a community hospital. Overworked, underp...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/1/2013 12:26:57 PM

Midwives: Flexibility for any position

by Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MS Student loan grace periods creeping to an end? Monthly bills piled high from school? Ready to start working and willing to be flexible? There are midwifery jobs, and then there are jobs for a midwife. Flexibility is key in this tough economy, but this can also be viewed through a different lens: the more roles midwives hold, the more our work is advertised! Midwives are incredibly skilled. We work in public health, research, academia, policy, advocacy, and...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/11/2013 2:55:18 PM

The Latent Phase: Building Collaborative Relationships

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Perhaps one of the most tenuous aspects of working as a new graduate midwife is developing a collaborative relationship with physicians. In the physician-midwife, as well as physician-nurse practitioner or physician-physician assistant relationship, there are many factors at play: power differentials, scopes of practice, health and care provision belief systems, historical interactions of each provider with others in the same field, and experiences in prior c...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 4/29/2014 5:11:58 PM

The Latent Phase: Check Yourself!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN September marks the start of first midwife jobs for many new graduates. Do you find yourself stepping out of the exam room to check Up-to-Date, call a colleague, or email a classmate? You aren't the only one! Here are a few strategies to help you double-check your instincts smoothly. The first few days, weeks, and months at my job (now over one year ago!) were tough – and by tough, I mean mentally and emotionally exhausting. It was partly because I was ne...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/12/2013 3:54:52 PM

The Latent Phase: Finding your Dream Job

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN As with all things in midwifery practice, the search for the first, or the next, midwifery job must be holistic: keep in mind life’s logistics, economic demands, and the needs of your soul. What kind of midwife do you want to be? Can you do that in any practice model, or do you need one particular environment in which to practice? Is the place where you attend birth most important, be it home or birth center or hospital? Are your fellow midwives the bread and b...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/15/2013 6:29:07 PM

The Latent Phase: Finding your first impression

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Lost for words when introducing yourself as a new midwife? Stumbling over the explanation of your recent role change while simultaneously trying to instill confidence in your care? Here are a few suggestions for how to make the best first impressions with clients and coworkers. “Are you sure you’re a midwife? You don’t half look young.” - Ingrid “Don’t worry Ingrid. You’re quite safe.” - Jenny Lee - Call the Midwife, Season 1 Episode 2 I remember in...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/15/2014 1:21:55 PM

The Latent Phase: From Student to Saveur, and the Argument for Hiring New Grads

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN I have come to believe that one of the hallmarks of a great midwifery practice is ability to integrate new midwives. As a recent graduate, I was thankful for the six weeks of outpatient orientation and ten births my new practice required before the experienced midwives “cut the cord” and sent me out on my own. Despite feeling adequately supported clinically, the warmth and kindness I had found in my classmates while in midwifery school did not carry over into th...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/10/2013 10:47:55 AM

The Latent Phase: Landing It

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MS After the last entry’s list of job hunting strategies, are you ready with a list of postings? Does performance anxiety have you stuck at an open draft email screen with a blinking cursor? Here are the next steps to getting your first (or next) midwifery job. Applying When it comes to applying for midwifery jobs, competition is fierce. Your cover letter and resume market and advertise the things that set you apart from the rest of the pool, so spend lots of ...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/29/2013 10:21:38 AM

The Latent Phase: Maintaining your License, Crunching the Numbers

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Understanding the specific requirements needed to maintain your midwifery license, including continuing education, is a numbers game. Here is how I have come to understand the system, and keep track of seemingly complex requirements in a clear fashion. Just when I thought I had all the numbers crunched in my list of certification, licensure, and maintenance requirements, I learned the true depths to which the numbers-game of maintenance goes: I encountered...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 3/21/2014 4:41:14 PM

The Latent Phase: Making the Most of the Annual Meeting

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN This year marks my third in a row attending the ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition, and I could not be more thrilled! It is a powerful gathering of reproductive health care providers, with time dedicated to celebrating our profession and ourselves. I am excited to see the many midwives I’ve met in the past year, I look forward to the smiling faces of my former classmates, and am thankful for the dedicated time to sit down and reconfirm my intentions within midwif...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/8/2014 2:02:36 PM

The Latent Phase: Mind the Gap

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Wondering what final experiences to squeeze in before being sent out on your own? Here’s a starter list of opportunities to ask your instructors and mentors for so it’s easier for you to bridge the gap between student and independent provider. In my final months of midwifery training, I decided I needed to step up my game. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what they were, but I knew there must be a few hidden gaps in the transition from advanced student t...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/8/2013 6:14:47 PM

The Latent Phase: Navigating the Midwifery Certification Exam

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Every once in a while, my emotions take over. The daily grind outweighs the beauty of individual interactions, and I (silently, or actually) yell out, “I just want to be a midwife!” Well, guess how that happens? Every midwife first takes the certification exam. There is the rational preparation of studying, practice questions, a good night’s sleep, and maintaining one’s normal routine the morning of the exam. Perhaps the difference with the certificat...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/24/2013 1:09:43 PM

The Latent Phase: Recapping the Series

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Meeting students and new graduates at last week’s Annual Meeting was absolutely inspiring, and I was so proud of my profession as I listened to the paths new midwives have chosen within midwifery and beyond. The eloquent individuals who presented the Student Report (which will be available in the upcoming Summer issue of Quickening) to the Board and members of ACNM at the Business Meeting discussed their desire to have more support from the College in transition...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/6/2013 3:19:44 PM

The Latent Phase: Show me the money!

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN Outside of fast food and retail, I had only ever worked in small non-profit groups before becoming a midwife. Understanding health care salaries was beyond my reach. Thus, my earning expectations were minimally grandiose: get paid enough to 1. live, 2. pay off student loans, and, ideally, 3. make more than I did with my jobs straight out of undergrad, given all the extra education and borrowed loans. But what should I, and other full-time entry level midwives...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 6/26/2013 12:41:27 PM

The Latent Phase: Transitioning into the Second Oldest Profession

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN What is the first year of midwifery practice like? Experienced midwives might remember theirs with assured and distant hindsight, considering both the beauty of that time and also cringing at the scars of the learning curve. Student midwives may anticipate the first year with anxiety, uncertain of skills still being practiced and facts yet memorized, always knowing the limitations of school learning. Those currently living the first year may fear their experienc...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 1/10/2013 2:03:48 PM

The Latent Phase: Walking and Talking the Profession at the Annual Meeting

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN If you are a current midwifery student or recent graduate attending the ACNM Annual Meeting in Nashville, you are about to have an incredible time. From the celebrity midwife sightings, to the feeling of the global reach of midwifery work, to the latest research, to talking with abandon about vaginas and meconium and nipples: there is magic that happens at ACNM that rejuvenates a midwifery soul. First, the research and the experience. I attended my firs...

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/24/2013 9:30:03 AM
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