Heidi Hagan is a current Frontier Nursing University (FNU) student working to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife, a passion born from her own life experience. In 2003, Hagan went through a life-changing and devastating event when her first child was unexpectedly lost at term. Hagan said the incident was one of the most challenging times of her life, but because of the incredible midwife who supported her through the tragedy, she now has a clear vision of her future. She wants to become a nurse-midwife who can bring healing to others.
“My goal is to develop a comprehensive perinatal hospice program that provides in-home care/birth planning, delivery support, grief support, and follow up after birth. This cause is very near to my heart and drives everything I do as a nurse and now student nurse-midwife.”
Hagan is currently working as a triage registered nurse for home health and home hospice patients at UPMC Home Health & Family Hospice in Williamsport, Pa. In this role, Hagan provides PRN skilled nursing services after regular business hours by meeting patient needs as they arise, monitoring chronic conditions and surveying how patients are coping and adjusting after a hospital stay or receiving a terminal diagnosis. Although hospice care is not traditionally paired with nurse-midwifery, Hagan chose this route with intention.
“I wanted to become more comfortable working with death and dying, as well as avail myself to caring for perinatal patients who may be anticipating a life-limiting diagnosis. I also wanted to gain experience working with folks in the home setting because I feel there is a huge opportunity to expand services to postpartum women. I believe that if these services were more commonly expanded, we could improve outcomes related to postpartum depression and promote healthy families through home health nursing.”
Set to graduate in 2021, Hagan first chose FNU because of its incredible reputation for providing quality education and promoting compassionate care.
“I had heard wonderful things about the programs at FNU and was immediately attracted to the program after meeting and talking with several FNU alumni. I needed a program with flexibility, the ability to pace my learning and a personal touch. It was an easy decision!”
After choosing FNU, Hagan said it is everything she hoped for, adding that it has had an incredible impact on her personal life as well as her education.
“The FNU network has been my lifeline! I have had several unexpected life events over the past three years that threatened to derail my success. However, the amazing network of teaching midwives, fellow students, local alumni and program leaders at FNU have kept me on track through it all. My FNU support system constantly encourages patient, persistence, and perseverance –always reminding me of why I started my journey in the first place.”
Another remarkable piece of Hagan’s story is that through her nurse-midwife program at FNU, she has been able to train side by side with the nurse-midwife who inspired her career choice. Nearly 20 years ago, Kay Zlockie, CNM, helped Hagan through her lost pregnancy. Today, Zlockie is guiding Hagan towards her future, sharing knowledge and encouragement as her primary preceptor.
As Hagan put it, “my story has come full circle.”
FNU wishes Hagan luck as she moves forward with her dream to support women and families facing loss and heartache. May her personal tragedy lead to healing for many.