Michelle Zamudio is joining the OAAPN Board as the Director of Professional Relations and also is a member of the Reimbursement Committee. A CNM, Michelle is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a Midwife at Christ Hospital. In addition, she serves on the Ohio Board of Nursing Advisory Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Christ Hospital APP Committee.
Michelle began her professional education with the US Air Force as an AF ROTC cadet commander at the University of Cincinnati for Det 665, which offered her “wonderful learning and working opportunities.” She went on to graduate with a BSN, believing she would fall back on nursing after serving her true passion – flying. When she learned she couldn’t fly for the Air Force, she decided on obstetrics “because it was at Langley AFB, Tactical Air Command HQ – with the fighter pilots!”
It turns out, Michelle loved obstetrics, gynecology and surgery and ended up completing a military residency in OB/GYN Nursing. After watching CNMs take care of women and families, she decided that’s what she was called to do (thank you Maria Barnes & Mary Carol Akers!).
After completing her OB nurse residency, she served on active duty for a bit before leaving to complete her Master’s Degree in Nursing / CNM. She then immediately returned to the Air Force Reserves. Michelle recently retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service, and notes “Nurses and APNs are treated with great respect in the military, and given the scope of practice and trust they deserve.” She goes on to say, “As an educator and life long learner I now educate resident physicians and medical students. I love the wandering path I have taken!”
Why did you choose to become an APRN?
Honestly? Straight up honestly? I recall watching births, patient care, and procedures, while thinking “I can do that better!”
I felt women should be treated within the context of their family unit and I was so disheartened at the medical approach to birth. The routine unnecessary procedures, creating a medicalized birth and environment that disrespected religious and cultural influences. Also, I believed although it is a “procedure,” childbirth is still a life imprint moment for women and families – a birth. When I saw a midwifery service begin delivering babies at our hospital, I was all on board!
I love that APRNs have the authority, independence, and medical knowledge to do what THEY know is right. The medical decision making capacities of APRNs drives me to be a lifelong learner, as it is a heavy responsibility. I love the adrenaline of L&D, the time with patients in the office, and the ability to care for women across their lifespan in a caring, compassionate partnership with shared decision making. I have now actually delivered several “grandbabies” from babies I had delivered myself! What a wonderful calling, to be a midwife. Midwifery is a demanding schedule but with extreme rewards.
Tell us a little about the professional journey that has led you to where you are today.
I love sharing what I know with others and found I have a gift when giving lectures, speaking, and helping others to understand. I believe strongly that we should not be hoarding our knowledge, trying to look better, smarter, etc, than our peers. Knowledge is power, and I always feel like by sharing what I know with residents and NP students, I am giving them some of their power.
This also brings in a nursing perspective to all patient care. A team approach to care can improve patient safety. A friend offered me a job at the College of Medicine, teaching Resident Physicians. I accepted and the rest is history…..I’m 14 years in now!
How did you first become involved with OAAPN?
Christine WIlliams invited me to serve on the reimbursement committee. I like being appropriately compensated for APRN work, so I was hooked! When you’re in the trenches working, you think everything is in stone, that you must follow the rules despite how unfair or unhelpful that they are. The work with OAAPN taught me the value of determination, getting involved, and that you CAN actually make changes! They gave me the necessary skills and knowledge of political activism needed to improve health care for our patients and for Ohio citizens.
Why do you believe membership and active participation in OAAPN is important?
First: Membership = More APRNs = More voice = More power.
Becoming a member is the first step to a new level of professional growth and connectedness. I encourage all of my APRN students and colleagues to join. Unless you think your job and the status of APRNs in Ohio is perfect, then you should join OAAPN. You will have so many new resources! For example, when CEU requirements changed, when our licensure changed, or especially when you have a question, OAAPN is your go-to place.
Second: It is by far the best CEUs offerings I have attended in this state.
It is convenient, excellent content, very affordable, and I must admit they have great food and fellowship. We need time together, whether at our local, state or regional meetings and I hope all new APRNs realize the value of joining this organization. They fight for us, educate us, and support us.
This ROBUST group of APRNs is made better and stronger if we ALL participate. You may think you’re too busy? It’s ok, just joining the OAAPN is “getting involved” and helps all APRNs in Ohio.
What value do you believe OAAPN provides for your professional development?
OAAPN represents all APRNs, including CNMs. They get things done! Remember when the SCA required yearly signatures? Our pay equivalence with physicians was much less? When we couldn’t treat pain? OAAPN changed all of that for us.
They have worked on so many fronts, such as working continually with all payers to ensure we are compensated fairly. They send alerts about important professional issues such as legal changes. It is because of them that APRNs have a voice in Columbus and have developed a very collegial, respectful and robust working relationship with our Board of Nursing. They bring great value to our professional lives.
What do you hope to accomplish from your time on the OAAPN Board?
I have several goals during my time on the Board. First, I need to identify where my abilities can best serve Ohio APRNs. Currently, I am working in a role with legislators and interested parties regarding any pending legislation. I want to elevate the visibility of APRNs and the abundance of evidence supporting our great outcomes. Second, I will work to secure fair reimbursement for those great outcomes. Third, I will represent midwifery interests as they relate to this role.
Tell us about your family and how you like to spend your free time.
I reside near Cincinnati OH. I am married, have 2 sons, a daughter, a grandson and a granddaughter who are all excellent humans. They have also grown accustomed to a midwife’s schedule….which is controlled chaos at all times! I thank them for that. My mom and dad live close by, without whom I could not work or be sane. My sisters are an RN and a FNP – I am grateful for a phone-a-friend option all day!
Free time? It is usually in the middle of the night, so I like to watch medical drama reruns! I also listen to Barry Manilow (check out his “I Am Your Child!”), travel when I can, walk a lot, and love taking full speed waverunners out really far into the Gulf of Mexico to see lots of dolphins and sea creatures. It’s mostly peaceful. Ha!
Your words to live by…
Many hands make light work…learn to delegate and work TOGETHER!”
To my kids: “Always take the high road- it gives you better perspective!”
Something others might not know about you:
I am qualified as an expert marksman as a military officer and I still frequent the local firing range to relax. It’s also a great date night!