From education to employment

New postgraduate Midwifery course helps address midwife shortage


Qualified registered nurses are retraining as midwives thanks to a new Masters degree at the University of Derby that aims to address the shortage in qualified midwives.

The course, approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and funded by Health Education England, enables fully qualified registered adult nurses with at least six months’ experience to change their career to become midwives. The University of Derby is the only institution in the region offering funded places for postgraduate midwifery training.

The new course starts at a time when there is growing pressure on midwifery services in the UK. Last year the Royal College of Midwives and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) called for action as numbers of midwives within the NHS continued to fall while demand for maternity services grew.

During the two-year course, students will be allocated to a local NHS trust where they will carry out a range of practical placements in settings such as antenatal and postnatal wards, day assessment units, labour wards and birth centres.

Jayne Leverton, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, commented:

“We are very excited to add this new course to our Midwifery portfolio. It is part of our commitment to work closely with our partners to support more students to qualify as midwives; the nurses who have started their training with us come from a range of NHS Trusts.”

Among the new students starting the course is Rosie Smith, who said: “I have been a registered nurse for two years, but being a midwife has always been my dream. This course is allowing me to use my nursing skills to start my new, exciting journey into midwifery – and I’m loving every day of it so far.”

The University already offers an undergraduate route to midwifery through its BSc (Hons) Midwifery course, which enrolled its first students in September 2021.

Both courses are taught at the University’s Derby Campus, which has a mock labour room where students can practise their skills before a placement – part of the University’s mock hospital ward, it features a range of equipment including birthing mannikins, birthing pool and resuscitaire.

Find out more about nursing and midwifery courses at the University of Derby:

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