Roxanne Wright ’24 MSN: Bringing the Law and Parenthood Into a Midwifery Career

May 14, 2024
The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Class of 2024 holds the distinction of earning diplomas during the school’s centennial year. As graduating students prepare for the conferral of degrees on May 20, YSN is checking in with just a few of the extraordinary students adding hoods to their regalia this year.

Roxanne Wright ’24 MSN

Hometown: Seattle, Washington (Go Hawks!)

Specialty: Nurse Midwifery

You are a mother of three children and a former attorney. How did bringing your law experience and parenthood into the classroom add greater texture to your YSN experience?

I am no stranger to juggling motherhood and career, having welcomed my first baby while in law school in 2013. It was scary to go back to school with (now three) children in tow so I could launch a new career as a certified nurse midwife (CNM), but it was without a doubt the best decision I ever made!

Roxanne Wright with her childrenI absolutely love doing this work, and it was so special to share my nursing school experience with my children. I would come home from class or clinical and tell them about what I had learned that day. They loved being my “patient” when I was practicing health assessment or pretending to take each other’s blood pressure. I got to lead by example and show them that with hard work they too can accomplish their goals. In turn, experiencing motherhood before entering this field armed me with so much relevant knowledge, and frequently helps me establish rapport and trust with my patients through shared experiences. 

I am also very grateful for my previous training as an attorney, even if my road to this point was a bit long. I use my legal training in the clinic daily, from deciding how to frame for a patient the risks and benefits of a difficult medical decision to drafting clear and concise clinical encounter notes. I hope to eventually further meld these two very different career paths by drafting new laws and policies that will improve maternal health outcomes on a macro level. 

Thinking back on your years at YSN, is there a clinical experience that really resonated with you?

Roxanne Wright in surgical maskI will never forget my first time catching a baby! It happened on Christmas Eve, 2022. The patient in labor was expecting a girl and was supported by her mother and grandmother, so three generations of women were in the room to welcome the fourth. I was there with my preceptor, Elise Resch, whom I already knew well from a previous clinical rotation. There was just so much support, safety, and joy in that room and it was a beautiful, peaceful birth. It was the perfect start to this new chapter of my life.

What are your post-commencement plans?

Roxanne Wright on top of a mountain I am joining UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin as a CNM! I am so excited for this opportunity. I came to YSN in large part due to my anger and sadness at the state of maternal healthcare in the United States, especially with regard to people of color. My goal was to provide excellent, culturally-competent care to under-resourced populations. I am thrilled to have accepted this position, through which I will provide outpatient care at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and intrapartum care at an evidence-based institution serving a wonderful and diverse patient population. 

So much has happened for you in the past three years! Is there anything else on your mind that you’d like to share?

Roxanne Wright with Handsome Dan Thank you, YSN! It is surreal to enter a program with no direct healthcare experience and exit as a provider only three years later. But I feel so well prepared and that is thanks to all my wonderful professors and the rich, varied clinical placements I accessed through this program. I am endlessly grateful and cannot wait to get to work! 

More Commencement Coverage

To read more student profiles and advice from six decades of YSN alumni to the Class of 2024, please visit the Commencement 2024 sidebar on the left (mobile devices, scroll down).

For more information on Yale’s commencement festivities, please visit