NEW OPPORTUNITY: USQ Lecturer Bridget Roache with West Moreton Hospital and Health Services Director of Nursing Melinda Parcell at the International Day of the Midwife afternoon tea.
NEW OPPORTUNITY: USQ Lecturer Bridget Roache with West Moreton Hospital and Health Services Director of Nursing Melinda Parcell at the International Day of the Midwife afternoon tea.

Next generation of midwives required

THE University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is helping to address the nation's growing midwife shortage.

USQ launched its graduate-entry Bachelor of Midwifery this semester with the program's first intake of students attending a five-day residential school at USQ Ipswich recently.

The Department of Employment's midwife occupational reports highlighted a shortage of qualified midwives in the major capital cities and the majority of regional areas in Australia.

USQ Lecturer (Midwifery) Bridget Roache said the demand for midwives was expected to grow with concerns about the ageing midwifery workforce.

"Changes to the way maternity services are provided in favour of a greater presence of midwifery care means it's a good time to become a midwife," she said.

Mrs Roache is a committee member of the Australian College of Midwives, and took the chance to promote USQ's midwifery program during a recent visit to the Ipswich Hospital for an International Day of the Midwife afternoon tea.

"USQ is committed to increasing the midwifery workforce and is working hard to strengthen links between students and service partners in order to broaden their exposure to midwifery practice through various clinical placements," she said.

"USQ has always had strong partnerships with its rural and regional Queensland partners, but with midwifery based at USQ Ipswich, there are now more opportunities to reach out to industries in metropolitan areas."

Head of School (Nursing and Midwifery) Professor Cath Rogers said USQ's midwifery program was open to registered nurses who wish to become registered midwives.

"Students will gain more than 1000 hours of clinical experience during the course, which means they will be ready to work in maternity hospitals or primary care settings, family planning clinics, neonatal units and community health after they complete their studies," Professor Rogers said.

"This qualification will also enable them to work with a wide range of employers, including the Royal Flying Doctors Service, rural and remote communities and Indigenous Health."

USQ's Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) provides students the option to study online, part-time or full-time.

For course details, visit www.usq.edu.au/study/ degrees/health-and- community/midwifery.



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