As we celebrate International Midwives Day, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) is encouraging VCE students to consider a career in midwifery.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick says Victoria needs to significantly increase the number of midwives in the health system to ensure safe staffing levels in birthing services into the future.
‘If you’re a year 12 student looking for a highly challenging and rewarding career, then consider becoming a midwife because Victorian women need you,’ she said.
In the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s December registration data report there were 7288 dual registered nurses and midwives working in Victoria and 26,103 across Australia. There were also 1495 midwives working across the state and 5,854 nationally.
‘Midwives are highly skilled professionals who care for women and babies through pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period and the early days of parenting,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.
‘There are so many wonderful opportunities for midwives to work supporting and advocating for women across the spectrum of health services and before, during and after birth,’ she said.
Consultation is underway between ANMF and public health services to provide midwifery students an opportunity to work and gain experience during their second and third undergraduate years. The Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery (RUSOM) model is based on the successful trial of a nursing students program. The RUSOM program is part of the new public sector enterprise agreement and is expected to start this year.
ANMF is also encouraging registered nurses to undertake postgraduate midwifery studies to boost the workforce.
The Andrews Government is promoting midwifery careers through the delivery of its 2018 election commitment to a $50 million workforce development fund. Included in this year’s allocation is support for midwifery refresher programs, midwifery postgraduate scholarships and 50 postgraduate midwifery employment model positions in regional Victoria.
ANMF is offering members, undertaking postgraduate midwifery courses, up to 80 per cent of their tuition fees as part of the union’s annual fee grants totalling $500,000. While applications for the 2019-20 year have closed, members are encouraged to look for 2020-21 scholarship announcements.
The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
‘Throughout this year we acknowledge and celebrate midwives’ continued commitment to ensuring that 200 plus Victorian babies are birthed every day with a woman-centred focus, honouring the mother-baby bond, and nurturing and assisting family units to navigate through this important time in their lives,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.
Media should contact local hospitals for International Midwives Day events and photo opportunities.
Media inquiries: Robyn Asbury – M: 0417 523 252