From October 1-7, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) collaborated with nurse-midwives, faculty, and health care providers to present 2017’s Mission Focused: Nurse-Midwives Answering the Call virtual event. Each year during National Midwifery Week in October, FNU presents this exciting event to explore the experiences of Certified Nurse-Midwives who are passionate leaders committed to better care for women and families.
The closing session, titled “Nurse-Midwives on a Mission: How Can I Make a Difference?”, reflected on some of the key takeaways from the week and the action steps that can be taken by a nurse-midwife or future nurse-midwife to truly make a difference in maternity and primary care.
The 20-minute session, available here, is presented by Jane Houston DNP, CNM, Clinical Director for Midwifery and Women’s Health at FNU. Her primary question: “Are we answering the call of Mary Breckinridge?” Houston reaches a conclusion by revisiting the virtual presentations shared throughout the week to recognize midwifery-led care:
Workforce, Leadership, and Student Issues in the U.S.
- Dr. Susan Stone on rising birth rates, a shortage of healthcare providers, and the need for leaders in midwifery to create solutions.
- Dr. Anne Cockerham on the history of the Frontier Nursing Service, Couriers, and the development of FNU teaching the science of midwifery.
- Dr. Tonya Nicholson, a Q&A session on how to become competent, ethical leaders in rural and underserved communities.
Vulnerable Populations and Nurse-Midwifery Care
- Dr. Barbara Anderson on the role of DNP nurses to provide health justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable populations.
- Dr. Nena Harris on the story of nurse Maude Callen and a focus on cultural competency and identifying with vulnerable populations while providing basic care.
- Dr. Trish Voss, Dr. Jane Houston and Ms. Ally Williams on the inclusion and equality of all gender identities and sexual orientations in health care and graduate education.
Entrepreneurship and Holistic Care for All Families
- Kitty Ernst and Dr. Tonya Nicholson on midwives as entrepreneurs, collaboration with MDs and providing the “right” care while keeping women at the center.
- Dr. Bethany Cook with a firsthand account of how DNPs are finding needs and carving out niche roles to meet them.
- Dr. Erin Tenney on how a collaborative practice within the Native American/Alaskan Native communities is leading the way for more patient-centered and culturally-safe care.
- Dr. Anne Judge with a review on the current research on obesity and reproduction, as well as how health care providers can approach conversations about weight with patients.
- An AABC panel discussion on the advantages of a freestanding birth center model over a traditional hospital-birth model.
In conclusion, Houston restates the question: “Are we answering the call of Mary Breckinridge?” Her answer: A resounding “YES!”
“The FNU community under the Banyan Tree is strong, resilient, resourceful, diverse, inclusive, multifaceted and is ready, able, and answering the call of our Founding Mother, Mary Breckinridge,” said Houston.
Thank you to Houston and all of the presenters, participants, and virtual attendees that made this event possible.