Becoming a midwife gives you access to a broader range of career options than you may initially suspect. You will have the qualification and experience to develop your career to where you are most interested, this may include:
- Labour Ward
- High Dependency
- Breastfeeding support
- Antenatal screening
- Coordinating a ward
A diverse career path
Your midwife qualification and experience will give you a wide range of options to progress your career beyond the role you may start in post-qualifying. There are opportunities to work in a variety of settings including labour ward, in the community, birth centres, local clinics, children’s centres. With experience you may choose to specialise to work permanently in one setting, or decide to go into an educational, research or management role. You could also move into different professions including health visiting or neonatal nursing.
You could also train to be a consultant midwife, who are central to modernising the health service. A consultant midwife will specialise in practice development, research, develop education, training and development. Each consultant midwife role will vary between each trust depending on the needs of the employer.
Not just the NHS
A majority of midwives in the UK work in the NHS, but there are also options to work independently, in a private hospital, internationally or to volunteer abroad.
Most midwives work shifts including early starts, late finishes, long shifts and night shifts, including weekends and on call rotas.
Pay in the NHS is determined by NHS Agenda for Change with a newly qualified midwife salary starting at £21,288 per year excluding unsocial or on call hours. A midwife has the potential to earn £80,000 per year as a senior manager or midwife consultant.
There are many options of further study once you are a qualified midwife.
The first course that you are likely to enrol on after you qualify is teaching and mentorship. This will enable you to teach and supervise student midwives. There are also options to do further education in teaching to become a midwife-lecturer.
You may choose to do further study either at masters or doctorate level. Although most qualified midwives start with a mentorship course another popular choice is learning how to perform the initial examination of the newborn (NIPE). If the thought of another 3+ year course is too daunting, you could choose to do individual postgraduate courses that interest you which may involve examining contemporary issues in midwifery, management or teaching skills but could lead to a masters degree after several modules have been completed.
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