Autum Larsen, A.R.N.P., C.N.M.
Allen College Class of 2013 - BSN
Certified Nurse Midwife at UnityPoint Health – Waterloo. Previously with UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, IA.
What led you to pursue your education at Allen College?
I was an employee at UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital and thoroughly felt the education offered at Allen College was valuable for my developing career.
How did Allen College help prepare you for where you are now?
Allen College took my knowledge of nursing and amplified it. The courses helped me to critically look into the local population that I was caring for on a daily basis and expand my knowledge on disease progressions, community risk associated health concerns, and illness prevention.
What led you to your exact career path?
As an LPN student, I would have put money down on myself pursuing a career as a first assist in surgery. I had enjoyed the environment and the technical skills nurses and providers alike used for their craft. However, during my associate’s degree rotation for obstetrics at Hawkeye Community College, my whole viewpoint of what career I wanted to follow shifted on its axis.
I had an experience where a physician was not available for a mother who was quickly delivering. I was impressed by the finesse with which the Labor and Delivery nurses performed in this delivery. Everyone had a role and it was executed well. My adrenaline was peaked watching this happen right in front of me! That night post clinic, I sat down on my computer and researched the Labor and Delivery role and learned what a midwife was. I found out there were advanced practice nurses who could perform this amazing feat every day. I was bitten by this passion to become a midwife from that point on. I could not get enough information about midwifery, their practice of caring for low-risk women, and the wonderment of labor. I made a timeline on how I would pursue my master’s degree. I knew the importance of walking before I could run, so I made sure I took some time off between my associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree so I could practice as a Labor and Delivery nurse. After completing my BSN at Allen in 2013, I was accepted to Frontier University for Midwifery where I graduated in 2016.
What piece of advice would you give to current Allen students?
Surround yourself with ambitious people and develop your community while you are in school. It only takes one voice to make you doubt your journey. Give yourself strength and grace in times you feel that you have nothing else left to give. Lastly, success doesn't happen overnight. Making goals that are attainable within a certain length of time will not only help you with your educational or career pursuits, but also help you with your family and friends life balance. Do not sacrifice one for the other.