At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature our FNU community members that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality healthcare to underserved and rural populations.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) preceptor Mrs. Phyllis Lynn first became a certified midwife in 1967 while working as an RN staff nurse on a postpartum unit.
“In Jamaica, to move up in my career, I had to become a certified midwife. I didn’t want to do it, but my superior insisted I would be a great midwife and pushed me to get certified. I was young; it turns out she knew what I needed better than I did,” Lynn said.
A few years later, Lynn relocated to the United States, where she was recertified as an American nurse-midwife in 1974.
Lynn spent nearly 25 years at her first post in the United States at Interfaith Medical Center, where she worked her way up and spent many years as the supervisor of labor and delivery. In 1993, Lynn spearheaded and opened a new labor and delivery service within the Maimonides medical network in Brooklyn.
Maimonides Midwifery Practice has since served thousands of families and grown to a team of 14 licensed midwives who have completed their master of science in nursing. Since opening the midwifery practice, Lynn has made a point of precepting students, especially nurse-midwife students, whenever possible.
“It is our job as midwives to continue to grow the profession. If we don’t advocate for ourselves, who will? Many people don’t understand what midwifery is or why it’s such a valuable profession. As midwives, we must work every day to help them understand,” Lynn said.
Lynn also encourages all of the students she precepts to continue their education and get their doctorate.
“Schools like FNU make continuing your education very obtainable. I always tell my students that if this is truly something they love, why not go as far as you can with it to help as many patients as possible?” Lynn says.
Lynn doesn’t only believe in a better education for current nursing and nurse-midwife students but is also a strong advocate for patient education. She believes the best way to get a patient to follow necessary health measures is to educate them and provide them with a thorough explanation.
“We have all had patients that, despite our best efforts, don’t follow through on the things we’ve advised. I have found that the best way to encourage action is through constant education. Do not only tell them the ‘what,’ but you also have to explain the ‘why’.” Lynn said. “Then after educating, I break things down into simple steps so that lifestyle changes seem easier to reach.”
Lynn also has another secret for encouraging stubborn expecting mothers to follow health and diet changes- explain the impact of these changes to the husband or boyfriend.
“Women often have cravings and might ask their partner for a cheeseburger or a plate of chili fries, or something else that is not good for the baby. If I tell the father of the effect these foods could have on the mother and the baby, he becomes much less likely to get those foods. Instead, he will encourage healthy choices. I truly believe education is everything.” Lynn said.
Every day, Lynn is delighted to have spent nearly 60 years supporting mothers, families and students in a profession that she loves.
“I am 78. Over the years, there have been days where I’ve been tired, but I have never felt burnt out. I have found my life’s purpose, which is something I wish for everyone. I will retire someday, but I will probably still volunteer. Nursing and midwifery mean so much to me. I can’t imagine working in a more wonderful profession with more wonderful people,” Lynn said
Thank you, Mrs. Lynn, for your continued dedication to nurse-midwives and the nursing profession as a whole. You have made a significant impact on our community, and we are grateful for your continued service.
To read about previously recognized preceptors or to nominate a preceptor, click here.
Are you interested in becoming a Frontier preceptor? Learn more here.