Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alum Jacob Mearse, DNP, PMHNP, CNM is using his doctoral education in psychiatric-mental health to serve women in his position as a certified nurse-midwife.
As a father of seven, Jacob knew he wanted to become a nurse-midwife as soon as his first child was delivered, but his journey took many turns before then.
“At the time our first child was born, the Army had me stationed in Hawaii where I was just finishing up nursing school,” said Jacob. “We had an amazing nurse-midwife and I remember thinking, ‘That is the coolest job ever! That is what I want to do!’”
Jacob later spent time in the Navy, where he was put into a full-time doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. He asked to study nurse-midwifery, but instead, they assigned him to the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program. While the program wasn’t his choice, unbeknownst to him, it later would put Jacob in a better position to serve women as a nurse-midwife.
Jacob decided to begin researching schools to become a nurse-midwife so he would be ready when his opportunity arrived. He first heard of FNU from a nurse-midwife friend who was an FNU alumna. After investigating online, he quickly decided FNU’s curriculum offerings, combined with the ability to do school while working full-time and raising seven kids, made the university a perfect fit.
The very day Jacob graduated from the University of Washington with his DNP, he applied to FNU to become a certified nurse-midwife, earning his post-graduate certificate in nurse-midwifery from FNU in 2017.
Today, Jacob is in a new position at Franciscan Women’s Health Associates, a large midwifery practice in Tacoma, Wash. He alternates between days at the clinic and 12-hour call shifts in the delivery room at St. Joseph Medical Center, the second busiest hospital in the Puget Sound area. When Jacob is at the clinic, he sees upwards of 25 patients daily for obstetric, gynecological and primary care.
According to Jacob, he has seen enormous benefits in combining his passion for nurse-midwifery with his background in psychiatric-mental health. In his new position at Franciscan Women’s Health Associates, he is often pulled into consultations with colleagues who have patients with mental health conditions.
“One of the big shortcomings in perinatal mental health is that we separate out maternity care and mental health care. A mom may come in for maternity care but have some psychiatric conditions. Oftentimes, maternity care providers are uncomfortable with mental health, or mental healthcare providers don’t know anything about pregnancy. It’s really helpful for me to be able to care for both aspects at once. I can manage psychiatric meds and do psychotherapy while also help them through their pregnancy and delivery.”
Jacob enjoys seeing patients from diverse socioeconomic situations and particularly enjoys serving the underserved.
“My favorite thing is when I’m able to help an economically disadvantaged and socially marginalized mother by giving her better care than she would get anywhere else. I love treating patients like royalty, whether or not they can pay. It feeds my soul and makes me happy every day.”
We are proud of Jacob for pursuing his dream of becoming a nurse-midwife and finding a position that allows him to fully utilize his skill set to serve women!
FNU offers a graduate Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty track as well as a Nurse-Midwifery specialty track that can both be pursued full- or part-time while completing a Master of Science in Nursing or a Post-Graduate Certificate. To learn more about all of our program offerings, visit Frontier.edu.
What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)?
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are educated in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. They earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM. Certified Midwives (CMs) are educated in the discipline of midwifery. They earn graduate degrees, meet health and science education requirements, complete a midwifery education program accredited by ACME, and pass the same national certification examination as CNMs to receive the professional designation of CM.