“I feel giddy and get chills every time I talk about it to anyone who will listen.”
Miranda Salky is talking about her passion for midwifery. A student in the University of Colorado College of Nursing’s Nurse-Midwifery (NMW) Program, Salky enrolled after working as a labor and delivery nurse for three years.
“I think (midwifery) is such a niche and special field, and there’s a strong sense of pride between midwives,” she says. “I love the endless opportunities and the adrenaline that comes with diverse experiences.”
Salky says when she became a nurse, she didn’t know what a midwife was. She learned about it while working in Colorado Springs, where midwives were running most of the labor deck at a local hospital.
“I thought they had the coolest job in the world,” she says. “I also didn’t know they did things in the outpatient setting, so once I heard that, I thought ‘This is everything’.”
CU Nursing’s NMW Program is the only such program in Colorado. Salky wanted to stay in Colorado, so deciding to attend CU Nursing was an easy choice.
“It made everything easy if I was able to get in,” she says. “And, CU does your clinical placements for you, which is helpful because not a lot of programs do that.”
Salky says getting her education and training at CU has been valuable – because of her experiences with midwives in the program.
“Midwives at CU Nursing set the standard of care for everyone,” she says. “I think getting to learn from a place where midwifery is the standard and for them to give that amazing care to patients is really inspiring to me.”
Staying in Rural Colorado & Committed to Rural Maternity Care
After leaving Colorado Springs, Salky went back to her hometown of Steamboat Springs to work at the hospital. Salky’s family still lives in Steamboat Springs, and so does her fiancé and his family.
“I like the tight-knit community,” she says. “And being at the hospital, it makes you feel like you’re family with everyone. Everyone is friendly and knows what’s going on. I like the sense of camaraderie and pride in the work we’re doing here.”
Salky plans to stay in Steamboat Springs after graduation. She says there is only one midwifery position at the hospital, and she applied for the position.
“(In a rural hospital) you don’t have the same resources as if you were in a big hospital,” she says. “So you have to be really comfortable, have incredible assessment skills, and speak up about treatment, and my training at CU has prepared me for all of these things.”
She acknowledges the challenges facing maternity care in rural Colorado, including lack of services and resources. She says some patients drive up to three hours for an appointment two times a week. High-risk patients might need additional treatment and a lot of times, they are sent to Denver for care.
“You realize how big of a gap there is in getting care, and I know how difficult it is,” she says. “So if I can contribute to making it easier for people while offering midwifery care, that’s really special.”