Hello, I'm a qualified nurse who would love to move abroad, to preferably the USA but would also consider Oz. I want to be a midwife really, but not too keen on doing it here! I just wondered what the job is like out there, how you get into it and what the pay and conditions are like. If anyone can help me with any of these areas I'd be most grateful, thanks!
I recommend this site: Student midwives There are definitely midwives on there from NZ, not sure about Aus and US. I think the main downside is that (certainly in NZ) you have to pay for your own training which can be $$$$$
It would be very difficult to work as a m/w in USA as its only allowed in a few states I believe.
I have friends who work as m/ws in OZ, I'm a m/w in UK. You can't go as a NQ m/w I don't think to Oz but you have to have been qualified 2 years. My friends who have gone there have had no problem getting jobs, there are always ads in the back of the m/w journals from Australian hosptials.
The hospitals have done telephone interviews with them and set the visas up for them, etc. I think pay is less than here, but the cost of living is less so it works out about the same.
From what my friends have said working conditions are better - better staffing levels, proeer breaks in the shifts, you even get a long sleep break in the middle of a night shift!!! They've also found that the skills of the Australian trained m/ws aren't as high, many of them can't assess cervical dilation for instance. They're not as autonomous and its more medicalised though I think they're trying to improve.
Thanks so much for all your replies, sorry, I didn't see them earlier! It's certainly given me some food for thought. Stripeyknickers - from the brief bit of research I did, it did seem as though m/w's (in the US as that's where I'm mainly interested in!) are more like our nurses in that they're not autonomised and are Dr led, which tbh, sounds better for me as I'm a bit scared of all the responsibility mw's over here have, but I would dearly love to be involved in pregnancy, birth and early baby care!!!
Ah right! Thanks for that! Maybe that would suit me better! I seem to remember looking inot nursing in the US and the company I was going through wanted so many weeks of midders experience too. How odd if you can't even be a midwife in some states? Maybe it was just their specification rather than a US specification?
In the USA, exactly how the system works depends on the state. A typical midwife is called a CNM - certified nurse-midwife, and the usual route to get there is to be a L&D nurse, and then train to become a CNM.
A CNM will do ante-natal appointments, and attend a normal birth in hospital. She will not do home visits, or any post-natal care beyone the 6-week check. She will also do annual well-women checks.
She will be assisted by a practice nurse in her office, and by a L&D nurse in hospital.
There are also lay midwives who work independently, but they are not legal in all states.
I think if you could get a visa to go to the US as a nurse (I think there is one), then work for perhaps a year there as a L&D nurse. Then you can look at applying for a CNM course, which would take 2 - 4 years depending on your qualifications and experience.
There are loads of websites that can explain the system - google nurse midwife program
It might be easier if you could narrow down to specific states, as each state has its own rules.
3Ddonut - there is a website Allnurses.com that brings nurses from all over the world together. They have really good info about moving to the states etc. But be warned, it can take up to 3 years to get over there.