Frontier Nursing University (FNU) student Mairi Wiles, BSN, RN, who had a unique journey to her career in midwifery, recently shared her thought-provoking poem and thoughts at FNU’s 2018 Diversity Impact. Just 10 years ago, Mairi was a soul-searching study-abroad student who had only recently learned about progressive birth options.
At the time, she had no plans to pursue a nurse-midwifery specialty given its long, challenging and academically rigorous path. But, the more of the world she saw, the more Mairi realized that her future was missing something.
“To be with women during birth, to keep that moment sacred, to honor each new life as it comes into this world – that was my destiny,” she said in the poem shared at Diversity Impact.
Mairi grew up the child of an internist, watching her mother use the medical model of healthcare to increase health outcomes in their community. Although she knew it wasn’t her calling, Mairi studied psychology at Berry College, graduating in 2009 with her bachelor’s and a minor in business.
But on a boat in the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia, Mairi made a commitment to shake off the doubts that were holding her back and answer her true calling: nurse-midwifery.
“For me, it was the perfect culmination of varied topics that had always intrigued me,” she said. “I longed to become a Midwife.”
Mairi went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University. She served as a labor and delivery nurse for five years, and is currently working as a birth center nurse at Atlanta Birth Center in Atlanta, Ga. In those roles, Mairi advocates for her patients to ensure they have the best birthing experience possible. She collaborates with them, teaches them and honors their wishes as she helps them through the pregnancy, birth and postpartum process.
Yet her scope as an registered nurse is limited, and the next step was evident for Mairi: becoming a certified nurse-midwife. Mairi is enrolled in CNEP Class 155 at FNU, and completed her final comps on September 12, 2018.
“I want to pursue a career in midwifery, so I can offer women an evidence-based alternative to the current and pervasive medical model of childbirth,” she said. “I want to be a resource for women where they know their feelings and opinions are valued.”
Mairi chose Frontier for several reasons. Perhaps the biggest was because of FNU’s natural, holistic approach to health care. She also loved the self-paced distance program and the long-standing legacy that Mary Breckinridge established over 80 years ago.
Though a distance student, Mairi has become connected to the FNU community through its vast network. She is an administrator of the Frontier CNEP Students Past and Present Facebook group and Google Drive, which serves as a resource for research and document studies from over 1600 nurse-midwives who are FNU students and alumni.
Mairi loves to put her feelings into words in the form of poems and heartfelt Facebook posts.
She recently shared these thoughts and more at FNU’s 2018 Diversity Impact Conference, held on June 7-10. Her poem was also featured in AWHONN’s Partners in Care video released last month.
After her CNEP is complete, Mairi is planning another busy season as she pursues her Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner specialty and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree simultaneously from FNU.
For now, she is celebrating each small victory as she goes. In August, she caught her 40th baby during her clinical rotation with the Midwives at both Providence and Nile Women’s Health Care through WellStar North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Ga.
Thank you, Mairi, for your dedication to creating better birth experiences and healthier mothers through a fulfilling career in Nurse-Midwifery.
“The occasion of birth is not just about the arrival of a new person but also a transformative and empowering experience. I want to to be with women during birth, to keep that moment sacred, to honor each new life as it comes into this world.
Each day a woman is entrusted in my care is a day she, as a mother, will remember forever.
Birth is sacred; I’m enchanted by the magic, the mystery, and the joy surrounding newness of life. I’m so thankful for the honor of being present.”