Applicants to A Nurse-Midwifery Education Program Disclose Factors that Influence Their Career Choice


  • Suzan Ulrich CNM, DrPH

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    • Suzan Ulrich, CNM, DrPH, is the Chair of Midwifery and Women's Health at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Hyden, KY.

Suzan Ulrich, CNM, DrPH, 918 SE 16th Place, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.


The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influenced nurses to choose midwifery as a career path. Forty-two application essays to the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing were reviewed. Content analysis was used to identify themes and to explore motivational factors. Six themes concerning motivation to become a midwife were identified. These included personal birth experience, love of maternity nursing, seeing midwifery as a calling, encouragement from others (especially midwives), an epiphany moment, and using nursing as a stepping stone to midwifery. The six themes were seen in more than 20% of the application essays. Several potential recruitment strategies stem from these themes, especially the importance of nurse-midwives'encouragement of others to pursue a midwifery career.