Nurse Midwifery Faculty Inspiring the Next Generation of Midwives

Nurse Midwifery Faculty Inspiring the Next Generation of Midwives

Senior nursing major Katherine Brennan ’23 gained hands-on experience during her winter break clinical at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Classroom education is valuable, but Fairfield Egan students have the opportunity to experience invaluable real-world situations that have a lasting impact on their professional and personal lives. 

Senior nursing student Katherine Brennan ’23 worked as a nursing bridge extern at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) over winter break in order to complete 72 hours of required clinical hours for the spring semester. Brennan worked in the same unit as Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN, FACNM, associate professor of nursing and director of the Midwifery program; their connection impacted Brennan more than she could have imagined during this clinical experience.

Brennan had previous experience working in a postpartum/antepartum unit, and after her experience with Dr. LoGiudice, she immediately knew she wanted to pursue this area of healthcare following graduation. She was lucky enough to be placed in the Labor and Birth Unit at YNHH, where she was able to gain professional experience that would not have been possible without her professor's guidance. 

Brennan expressed her gratitude and appreciation for her experience at YNHH, but it was the final shift that made the most significant impression on her.

“Dr. LoGiudice happened to be on that [last] day and I recognized her from the halls of Egan. Due to my interests in the maternity field, I introduced myself and she really took me under her wing, teaching and showing me more than I could have imagined," she said. "I have seen the birth of several baby boys, but with her I got to see the birth of a baby girl and touch her mom’s calcified placenta. This was incredible and proved to me that no matter what you learn in the classroom it never quite sticks until you see and experience it in person.”

Brennan continued, “Later in the day, Dr. LoGiudice pulled me in to witness the vaginal birth of twins in the OR. This was the best way to end my 72-hour rotation, and I have not stopped thinking about it since. Holding the mother’s hand and watching Dr. LoGiudice do her job was incredible and completely inspiring. I cried happy tears on my drive home that night and called my parents because I knew that the previous 12 hours had proved to me that I am going into the right field and that I found my passion.”

After graduation, Brennan plans to attain her RN license and work in Boston as a registered nurse (RN) specializing in mother/baby-related positions. After two years of work, she hopes to return to Fairfield Egan to study midwifery or to become a family nurse practitioner working in an OB outpatient practice. Her capstone research project was inspired by her aspiration to work in the Postpartum/Antepartum Unit, titled, "The Importance of Early Postpartum Pumping and Hand Expression for NICU Mothers." Postpartum mothers undergo abrupt changes physically and hormonally, and are expected to adjust to their new role as a mother despite these changes — especially mothers of NICU babies. 

Brennan noted that during her clinical experience, many patients had time to prepare for their babies to enter the NICU, but they did not receive much education about how to be involved in their child’s care. Breast pumping was not always initiated shortly after birth, and mothers would go hours without pumping for the first time. The evidence-based literature presented in her project addresses the importance of early postpartum breastfeeding for NICU mothers and the positive effects for themselves and more importantly, their babies. Along with her research project, she created a flier on breast pumping education, its benefits, and information for the nurses that will be posted in the Labor and Birth and MSCU units at YNHH.

Fairfield University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice in Midwifery prepares students as expert nurse midwives for every stage and in every setting in which midwifery care is delivered to women. DNP students gain clinical experience through attending births and providing primary, gynecologic, antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, and breastfeeding care under the supervision of Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) faculty. 

Learn more about the program at

Tags:  Egan School


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