When and why were you first inspired to pursue a career in health care?

Anna Marie Nieboer: I have loved newborns since I was young. So, I originally wanted to be an obstetrician. I decided to pursue labor and delivery nursing instead because my husband and I started a family at a young age. As a nurse and a mother, I began to realize that I loved caring for pregnant women just as much as I loved caring for newborns.  

Andrew Youmans: I initially went to college to study political science. I later found out that I disliked the focus on the theoretical. Nursing provided a very tangible career. I feel it gives me the chance to really make a difference in the lives of others.

What made you choose this particular path/specialty? 

AN: Women need to be supported in their demanding role as caregivers. They can be benefited through mindful and empowering health care that supports long-term health. It’s exciting to be in a position that can significantly improve outcomes for mothers and babies by changing the way we care for them during pregnancy and birth.

AY: In general, I chose nursing for its flexibility and broadness. There are seemingly limitless options for practice as a nurse. The choice to pursue nurse-midwifery, in short, is due to the fact that maternal mortality is rising at an unprecedented rate in this country. Other areas of health care are making great strides in reducing mortality due to a vast array of diseases and disorders. Therefore, I want to be part of making changes so that maternal mortality rates decrease.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to anyone seeking to pursue an education and/or career in health care?  

AN: My advice would be to create a balance between life and work and to fight for personal wellness. It is difficult to approach patients with positive regards and empathy if the health care provider is not physically or emotionally healthy. This provides the best care for patients and improves the culture for all health care providers.

AY: Whatever path you choose, go into it with an open mind. When I decided to become a nurse, maternal-child nursing was not even on my radar. My experience as a student really inspired me to pursue it as a career. Do not rush into anything, carefully evaluate educational options, costs and employment opportunities and understand the lifestyle associated with the career. Nursing has more flexibility than the average career. However, you may have to work nights, weekends and holidays.

For education, I think is important to select a program that focuses on your needs. Frontier Nursing University is focused on preparing clinically competent Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) with the mission to grow the number of APRNs.