At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality healthcare to underserved and rural populations.
Though some may see the work of a cardiovascular intensive care unit nurse and the work of a nurse-midwife as somewhat disparate, Frontier Nursing University recent graduate Liz Carr is confident that her background working in an ICU translates well to nurse-midwifery. A resident of Lexington, Ky., Carr currently works at the University of Kentucky (UK) Healthcare Albert B Chandler Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and recently earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nurse-Midwifery from FNU.
“I chose a cardiovascular background very intentionally,” Carr said. “Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in pregnancy. I chose not to work labor and delivery as an RN, but still wanted to gain skills and knowledge I could apply as a midwife. I am so privileged to do a nursing job I love and also study something I love. While cardiovascular intensive care and midwifery are different, I am hopeful that my unique skill set will be an asset to my future patients and their communities.”
Originally from Atlanta, Carr earned her BSN from UK in 2017 and has worked at the Albert B Chandler Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit for approximately five years.
Carr has dreamed of becoming a nurse-midwife since she was 13 years old.
“In my middle school sex education class, we watched a video of an unmedicated vaginal birth. All of the other students were horrified, but I was riveted. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to be a birth worker and usher people through that powerful experience,” she said.
Throughout her time studying at FNU, Carr said she has particularly appreciated the strong sense of community among students and faculty members. This was illustrated for her when former faculty member Dr. Kendra Faucett sent her a list of all of the midwives in the area to assist in her search for preceptors.
“It was the moment that I felt like I was really in the right place with an amazing community of people who will always champion my success,” she said.
Carr worked at four clinical sites throughout her time at FNU, the last of which was with FNU alumni Paula Brandt at the recommendation of FNU clinical advisor Carisa Lipp.
“There was never anywhere else I would want to be. Frontier is the home of nurse-midwifery.”
- Liz Carr, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNM, FNU Alumni
“My rotation with Paula was not only what I needed to finish my clinical requirements, it was exactly what I needed to feel ready to go into practice,” she said. “It’s all thanks to the amazing Frontier network.”
Throughout her clinical experience at FNU, Carr said one of her proudest moments was when she was present for a patient’s first Pap smear. Using training she acquired from FNU, Carr said she was able to ease the patient’s anxiety about the procedure.
“As a student, it felt like such an important moment,” Carr said. “I had the chance to introduce someone to speculum exams in a way that was comfortable for her, and which will hopefully ensure she seeks out her routine health screenings without fear of pain. There was never anywhere else I would want to be. Frontier is the home of nurse-midwifery.”
Over the years, Carr has received several recognitions for her work in healthcare, including the University of Kentucky Healthcare Commitment to Nursing Excellence Award in 2017 and the University of Kentucky Healthcare Bronze Award for Innovation in 2020. She also is a three-time Daisy Award nominee and a 2022 participant in the Training in Abortion Care Residency.
In her free time, Carr enjoys reading, spending time with her dog, Cooper, and visiting her family in Atlanta.