The nursing and midwife license battle continues. . .
The letter in the newspaper brought a quick response on my nursing license, which was quickly followed by a judgment on my midwife license application, too. (In short, for both: no).
It was sometime last month when it hit me—I mean, it really hit me—that I am the only American midwife who is trying—or has tried--to work in Norway. I may not be the first one to have tried. . . but there don’t seem to be any others currently working here, so that leads me to believe that I might be the only one who ever has tried. The magnitude of that hit me. ME. ME. The first one, the only one. The trailblazer. Essentially fighting this alone. No rule book. No advisor. No one (of consequence) on my side.
Completely by chance (and the world of Facebook), I discovered that a guy from my high school (just a year ahead of me) graduated from an American med school, finished his American residency, and somewhere in the process married a Norwegian woman. He is now living and working in Norway, the only American educated physician working in Norway as a physician. Honestly: what are the chance of that??? We come from a high school of, what, 1200 students in a relatively small town in southeastern Minnesota, and it produces the only American physician and potentially only American midwife in Norway???
He, too, faced years of fighting with SAFH over his education, his internship, his residency, his specialty. What finally made it happen for him was that his wife was an advisor to the Prime Minister of Norway, and at some point she met the Minister of Health. “Hey my husband. . . an American doctor. . . can’t work here. . . how dumb is that???” A little this, a little that. . . and his license was approved.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the Minister of Health on my side.
On January 18, Erik and I will travel to Oslo to have a face-to-face meeting with a live human being at the nursing/midwife license (SAFH) office, and discuss the continued disagreements over my nursing education. It’s basically come down to that 15 years ago, I was 2 weeks short on psychiatric nursing clinicals, and a few more weeks short on medical/surgical clinicals, and need to make up that time. (No, 15 years of professional experience doesn’t count). But recently, I’ve spent days assembling page after page of documents (95 and counting) to formally log my complaint on their judgment on my midwife application. Fight #2. To be fair, my original application did not have pieces of information that would have been helpful—namely, the number of patients I had contact with in a variety of settings as a midwife student, yeh these 9-10 years ago.
In some disturbing ways, I like the process of digging up information, mounting an argument, an assembling the documents; it’s the part of me that enjoyed the research process for my master’s thesis, too. We found a quote in an ACNM (American midwife) document that is golden, my home run of quotes: “ACNM competencies and standards are consistent with or exceed the global competencies and standards for the practice of midwifery as defined by the International Confederation of Midwives”. In short: American midwives are educated according to these international standards, and Norwegian midwives are educated according to these same international standards.
Any dear readers who are still with me. . . bless you.
So while I feel like that should end all squabbling over whose midwives are better educated, and can’t we all just be friends (and colleagues)???—deep down a part of me knows this won’t be good enough. Hence the other 94 pages of supporting documents.
Wish me luck.