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CU College of Nursing student Brittan Hosner, RN

Long-Distance Dedication: Student Pursues Nurse-Midwifery Program from Utah

Virtual education lets Brittan Hosner, RN, balance a busy family and work life

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Written by Bob Mook on November 11, 2022

You might say that Brittan Hosner, RN, discovered nursing by accident – specifically, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident when she was only 13.

The episode, which occurred in rural Oregon, left Hosner with six broken bones and a mild concussion. After being alone for about an hour after her vehicle lost control, an older couple found Hosner during a drive and she was flown to a local hospital, where she stayed for about a week. She spent much of her eighth-grade year on crutches.

“It wasn’t until an ATV accident when I really understood caregiving,” Hosner says. “I was given a lot of love, support, and help from the hospital staff, family and friends. From that experience, I felt I wanted to pay forward all the love and care I received. I realized that nursing was a really good fit for me.”

That personal revelation led Hosner down the path where she completed prerequisite work at Utah Tech University and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She earned her bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse with an interest in labor and delivery.

“Once I got into nursing school, we learned about the reproductive system and I just found that so fascinating,” she says. “I seriously could not contain my excitement once I got to the labor and delivery floor. I just knew it was the right direction to me.”

Although an ATV accident started Hosner’s nursing journey, her move to the field of nurse-midwifery has been planned and purposeful. Giving birth to her son two years ago further expanded her ambitions.

I like that it’s virtual, and I like the fact that I can finish the program and then have 90 clinical hours to become a women’s health nurse practitioner. It’s nice to have that option available.”
– Brittan Hosner, RN, student at CU Nursing’s Nurse-Midwifery Program

Why she chose CU Nursing

Intrigued by nurse-midwifery and the women’s health nurse practitioner roles, Hosner researched colleges around the country and came across the Nurse-Midwifery Program at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, where she is pursuing her master’s degree while working on her certified nurse-midwife (CNM) credentials.

“I had a good feeling about the program and looked more into the resources they have,” she says. “There’s such a huge group of nurse-midwives and so much of the community behind the program.”

Currently, Hosner works as a nurse at Lone Peak Hospital in Draper, Utah while raising her two-year-old son. On Wednesdays, she logs into Zoom from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to participate in the nurse-midwifery curriculum. Hosner’s specialty director is CU Nursing Instructor of Clinical Practice Shannon Pirrie, MS, CNM.

Hosner likes Pirrie’s wisdom, knowledge and accommodating approach to teaching.

“I appreciate that she knows that many of us work and have kids, and she understand that we can’t all have perfect grades,” Hosner says. “Life is more important, and you are human and need to give yourself some grace.”

When she’s not in class, Hosner works nights at the hospital and often catches a catnap before taking care of her son during her “dayshift.”

“I like that the curriculum is available virtually and I like the fact that I can finish the program and then have 90 clinical hours to become a women’s health nurse practitioner,” she says. “It’s nice to have that option available.”

What’s next for Hosner?

Before she completes the program at CU Nursing, Hosner will likely come to the Denver area near Anschutz Medical Campus for a semester to complete her clinical training – a prospect that she awaits with great anticipation.

Ultimately, she wants to work as a nurse-midwife at a hospital where there’s lots of community support for nurse-midwives with reinforcement from OB-GYN’s.

“Sometimes there are emergency situations, and you need providers who can back you up,” she says.

Many of CU Nursing’s nurse-midwife faculty are associated with the Center for Midwifery, an academic midwifery enterprise that was recently designated as an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing. The center’s affiliations with UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital sites in Anschutz Medical Campus and Lone Tree, as well as the Centura Longmont United Hospital, would guarantee that Hosner would have a clinical placement in Colorado.

For now, Hosner is holding a “full plate” between work, school, and raising her son in Utah.

“During the summer, we go to a lot of splash pads and dinosaur museums, but extracurricular activities are scarce,” she says.

Topics: Students