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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Why you should consider a career in midwifery

With so many career options available within healthcare, finding the role to suit you is no mean feat. One option you may not have considered is midwifery, and if you haven't already, it's certainly worth giving some thought to the benefits of working in this unique profession. Here we've put together what we feel are the biggest advantages of working in midwifery, as well as advice on how you can get into the profession.

Midwives are in demand
If you read the news it's likely you'll already know that nurses, and particularly midwives, are in demand. This means that, unlike in other industries where graduate jobs are scarce, with a qualification in midwifery you're almost guaranteed to find employment.

Opportunity for promotion
There are plenty of opportunities to advance your career within midwifery. Whilst the starting salary for newly-qualified midwives is £21,388 with the NHS, an experienced midwife can earn around £34,500 year. By gaining further qualifications such as a Masters or a PhD, you can progress even further into management and consultant roles.

Rewarding job
When asked about the benefits of the profession, many midwives talk about the inherent satisfaction involved in doing such an important job. Knowing that your work helps to bring life into the world and that you are there for one of the most important moments in people's lives is something that few other jobs can offer.

How you can become a midwife
There are three ways to train as a midwife, all of which lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The most common route into midwifery is through taking an approved midwifery degree. This will involve both an academic and a professional qualification, through study of theory and supervised practice of midwifery. Degree programmes in midwifery are usually three years in length on a full-time basis.

Alternatively, if you're already a qualified and registered nurse, you can take the midwifery short programme. As with a degree in midwifery, this is both an academic and a professional qualification, involving study of theory and supervised midwifery practice. Midwifery short programmes usually take a minimum of 78 weeks full-time. You can find out more about the midwifery short programme by contacting the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line.

Another option is to take a Masters degree in midwifery. This is particularly popular with graduates from related subjects who are keen to move into midwifery and registered nurses looking to gain a new qualification. As with most qualifications, entry requirements for a Masters in midwifery vary between academic institutions, but as an example an MSc in Midwifery from Middlesex University requires a good honours degree (2:2) or above in midwifery or a closely related subject, or a relevant professional qualification and evidence of successful level six study.

Wherever you choose to apply to and whatever course you choose to study for, check what the entry requirements are for that institution. If it isn't clear on their site or you're not sure that you qualify then still get in touch with the course leaders – you might have more relevant experience than you think.

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