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 that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations
Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alumni Mimi (Paulomi) Niles, CNM, MSN, MPH knew she wanted to become a nurse-midwife beginning in her early twenties after traveling to India, the land of her heritage. According to Mimi, seeing Indian women through the lens of her “American Privilege” was eye opening.
“I saw, felt and embodied the experience of sex discrimination with such a rawness – a kind I never truly felt or articulated growing up in New York City,” said Mimi. “I felt an activist rage and passion start to rise up in me and I began to know that my work on the planet was to use my privilege as an educated woman from the West to make life more equitable and just.”
When Mimi returned to the U.S. she went to Planned Parenthood for some gynecological care and was helped by a caring woman who made her feel peace during a confusing time of life. After learning she was a nurse-midwife, Mimi felt a fuse being lit inside of her. Her next 10 years became dedicated to becoming a nurse-midwife and advocating for women’s empowerment. She decided her next step was to enroll in FNU’s nurse-midwifery program.
“It was a strategic decision for me to chose Frontier despite the option of having three major midwifery programs here in NYC,” said Mimi. “I chose Frontier because of the meaning and worth that Mary Breckinridge infused into serving the vulnerable.”
Mimi began working in 1998 as a public health nurse in New York City in the footsteps of both FNU Founder Mary Breckinridge and Historic Humanitarian, Nurse and Author Lillian Wald.
“I have traveled to many countries as a midwife and I have been slowly becoming involved in midwifery organizations and advocacy groups,” said Mimi. “Everyday that goes by, I am thankful in my heart, body and soul that midwifery chose me to do this work! Like Sweet Honey in the Rock says, ‘When we work for freedom, we cannot rest.’ I have radical political integrity and I am not ashamed of that – if anything, being a midwife, has made that part of me stronger and bolder.”
Mimi was recently asked to speak as a representative from the American College of Nurse-Midwives to celebrate International Day of the Midwife (#IDM2016) at the Moms +SocialGood event which strives to connect the Global Moms community to leading experts, notable philanthropists, and a worldwide audience. Go here to hear her speech (beginning at 4:50:33 mark).
The FNU community is proud to have alumni who are passionate for women’s health. Keep answering the call, Mimi!