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I’ve used my nursing education in more conventional ways, like working as a certified nurse midwife (CNM) at the hospital, clinic, and birth center.

As a CNM, I performed basic primary care and cared for the reproductive health of adolescence and beyond. CNMs also support laboring patients and catching babies. Attending births and watching families grow is a great gift, but so is helping clients to choose their family size. You need advanced education to work as an advanced practice nurse.

Pursuing a Career as a Midwife

When I attended nursing school, I never even held a baby. However, after attending the magical campus of Frontier Nursing University (FNU), I pursued a career in midwifery. FNU is a school over 80 years old that’s roots lay in a nursing service that birthed babies in the hills and hollers of Kentucky.

After my visit, I knew I wanted to support families, mothers, birthing people, and babies. So I completed my midwifery degree and worked at both birth centers and hospitals.

I was disappointed by health and birthing options for families regardless of where I worked. However, knowledge would help my case, and I chose to continue to get my doctorate because of my desire to pursue a terminal degree. I’ve been lucky to work with midwifery legislative advocates, bringing light to my soul. While I wouldn’t trade my midwifery care for anything, my favorite part about continuing for my doctorate and master’s degree is the nontraditional paths I’ve taken. 

Advanced Nursing Education Creates Career Opportunities

As nurses, we struggle between the emotional and physical investment in our careers and balancing a family or private life. While there is no greater honor than providing families with evidence-based care and wholehearted support, I knew it was time to seek another opportunity when my family life suffered.

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Finding work that requires advanced nursing education, pays well, and provides a better schedule than clinical care is challenging. However, I searched until I saw those benefits. In addition, as a nurse writer and editor, I get to advocate for inclusivity and birthing options. 

Finding Nursing Niche as a Medical Consultant

And luckily, they exist in many areas as an expert consultant, a medical editor, and a nursing assessment question item writer. For example, nurse experts write those assessment questions you took for your nursing certification. Patient-facing medical websites need healthcare professionals to proofread and edit their content. Many medical and nursing blogs for universities, health systems, and medical sites benefit from having a nurse expert write their content.

The pay for these professions is similar to midwifery, but it is flexible and done on my schedule. As a result, every day looks slightly different, and I always discover new and exciting projects. This experience has taught me that you can find the perfect nursing niche if you are creative. And best of all, this work can be a side hustle to another career if you’re looking to test the waters.

Caitlin Goodwin
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