July 8, 2014 – A student in Georgetown's online Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program (NM/WHNP) helped deliver her classmate’s baby in early June shortly after learning they were in the same program.
Melissa Wilmarth (G’16) was in early labor at Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Hawaii, when Erin Johnson (G’14) accompanied a nurse-midwife to attend the birth of Wilmarth’s child.
“We had never met,” Wilmarth says. “It was totally random and wonderful. Erin was introduced as a Georgetown NM/WHNP student, and that’s when we realized we were studying in the same program.”
Jared Tipton Wilmarth V was born June 6, joining siblings Aubreanna, 4, and Lucille, 2.
“Hawaii is so isolated,” Wilmarth says. “I was not expecting to run into another Georgetown student, let alone have them catch my baby. It’s a small world.”
Johnson, also of Hawaii, says she has been working at Castle Medical Center as part of her clinical education. He preceptor turned out to be Wilmarth’s nurse-midwife.
“I ended up delivering or ‘catching’ baby Tipton,” says Johnson. “My preceptor introduced me as a Georgetown student, and Melissa, without hesitation, opened her heart and let me share in the birth of her son, for which I am so grateful.”
Johnson and Wilmarth are among about 900 students now receiving their master’s degrees online through the graduate nursing program at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.
“I am enjoying the challenging program, and I love the learning platform,” says Wilmarth, who is finishing her second term. “I have a long way to go, but I'm very much looking forward to beginning my clinical rotations next spring.”
Johnson, who completes the program in July, says it is “unbelievably effective” in uniting students from all over the country.
“I have developed a lifelong bond not only with my cohort, who will soon be my colleagues, but also my clinical faculty, who will always remain my mentors,” she says. “I have invited them all to come visit me in Hawaii.”