January 31, 2003

Snow postpones exam for VUSN nurse-midwives

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Dr. Drew Gaffney is leading the initiative for electronic safety reporting at Vanderbilt. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Snow postpones exam for VUSN nurse-midwives

Fourteen Graduates from Vanderbilt’s Nurse-Midwifery program are breathing a sigh of relief after learning they will be able to retake their board certification examination after the Jan. 17 exam was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The graduates were concerned at first when they learned American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification Council (A.C.C.) policy requires the exam be retaken at the next scheduled date, on June 27. Some graduates were already working, pending their certification, but in many cases the nurse-midwife graduates could not work until their board certification was completed.

School officials placed several calls to the A.C.C. and were able to persuade the organization to offer a make-up exam on Feb. 28 at Vanderbilt.

The A.C.C. cancelled the Jan. 17 exam after the proctor, who lives in Cookeville, was unable to drive to Nashville because of the hazardous road conditions.

The board examination is offered three times a year, in January, June and October in several locations nationwide. Graduates can take the exam at any location they choose, provided they have taken the exam within a year from their graduation.

Five people made the trip to Vanderbilt from out-of-state, coming from as far way as New York and Oklahoma.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was not expecting that whatsoever. I was in disbelief that they could cancel the test,” said Leigh Lindsey, a nurse-midwifery graduate and current family nurse practitioner student. Lindsey’s husband was ready to make the drive from their home in Bowling Green, Ky. to pick up the proctor in his four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Margaret McGill, interim director for the nurse-midwifery program, and a nursing instructor, said she was deeply distressed over the cancellation. “I knew how emotionally and mentally keyed up they were, how ready they were to take the exam. I was afraid that if they postponed taking it that it would be sort of anti-climactic and they wouldn’t be as well prepared as they were right now,” said McGill.

McGill said most graduates have expressed relief with the new date. “We’re happy they decided to make special concessions for us,” said Lindsey.