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To aspire to be a midwife?

43 replies

OiledBegg · 01/09/2015 09:33

Am I totally mad?

I'm 29, I have a DS who is nearly 11. I'm working full-time in a low paid office job. I know mdiwifery doesn't pay mega money and that's not why I want to do it. I have wanted to be a midwife for as long as I can remember, my Mum was one so it's always been around me. I have some barriers in the way though:

  • I would need to do an access course at my local college to even have a chance of getting onto the degree, so I wouldn't be able to work as well. I am single so I have no idea how I would support myself financially. Confused I am not eligible for any student loan, as I already have a degree (a poor choice made when I was young, in something that really isn't for me).
  • My local uni is highly highly competitive for midwifery, for A-level students they ask for 3 B grades, there are only a few places and over a thousand applicants.

    I am trying think of ways around everything so I could possibly work towards achieving my dream. I know I am 29 and time doesn't feel on my side.
    Am I nuts to even consider it, should I just stay in my stable (but unfulfilling) job or think about something else entirely?
OP posts:
sliceofsoup · 01/09/2015 09:40

I am in NI so it might be different, but all the local colleges offer access courses part time in the evening. Two nights a week for 3 hours or so. Are all the ones near you definitely full time?

29 is still really young, there is plenty of time. I am the same age as you, and I feel the same sometimes, but in the grand scheme of things you are still young.

Joopy · 01/09/2015 09:45

I'm considering it and I'm 10 years older than you! Go for it or you will regret it. Midwifery is one of the few jobs that being a mother gives you an advantage. You already have a degree which shows you are capable of studying.

KitKat1985 · 01/09/2015 09:52

YANBU. However you will obviously need a plan for managing finances. Do you have any family support?

QforCucumber · 01/09/2015 09:53

You may be eligible for the 24+ funding loan, worth looking into, I don't think there's a criteria about having a degree with it.

I'm 28 and looking at doing a health sciences access course, my local college offer it part time evenings 2 nights a week 6-9 and a Sunday online class. Currently in an office admin role and like you as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a mental health nurse.

My only issue is I'm 12 weeks pregnant, and so looking to not apply until I've had the baby as my friend has just completed an access course part time and said it's very intense.

If you can commit to it I definitely think it's worth looking into and maybe speaking to your local colleges see if there is any scope for the part time courses.

Capucine00 · 01/09/2015 09:55

Your degree Trumps A levels but you'll need evidence of learning in the last two years. It'd be a good idea to apply for jobs as a maternity assistant at a hospital or a related position. Access courses can be done at night as can an OU module. What it takes to get on a course is a test of commitment.

Itllbefiiiiiiiiine · 01/09/2015 09:56

how old is your degree? I have a degree in criminology and this allows me to apply for nursing degree despite it having little or no relevance. My degree trumps a levels and access courses.

Yours will too.

OiledBegg · 01/09/2015 09:56

KitKat I have my parents a couple of miles away plus my son's father who will all help with looking after him (as they do now) but it is the supporting myself financially part that's the main stumbling block. I privately rent, I need to come into some money or win the lottery I think...

OP posts:
DebbieFiderer · 01/09/2015 09:57

I am just coming to the end of my midwifery degree (all all done bar the results!) and I would say it is definitely doable, but not easy. A few points:

  • Look in to part-time access courses, a few students on my course did it that way. There is a also a distance learning access course available, although as far as I know, not all unis accept it, so best to check.

  • BBB is actually not that high an offer for midwifery I'm afraid, some unis are higher, and all are oversubscribed. That said, a large number of the applications are from people who would never get on the course in the first place (don't meet the academic requirements etc), so if you have done your research, written a good personal statement, etc, then you have a good chance of getting an interview. From there it is mainly about interview technique and showing that you have the right personality to make a good midwife. There are certain things they just can't teach, and those things are what they are looking for in potential students.

  • 29 is plenty young enough; I was several years older when I started and I was far from being the oldest on my course. You will still have 30 years of service to offer, so plenty of time yet.

For more info on things like the distance learning course, and what they are looking for in applicants, check out // - a really good source of information and support.
DebbieFiderer · 01/09/2015 09:58

Forgot to say; unis will have open days coming up this term - go along and talk to them about entry requirements etc, they will give you the best advice.

Itllbefiiiiiiiiine · 01/09/2015 09:59

The OU module will cost you 2k. I've looked into that.

And an evening access course depends on your college. Ours definitely don't offer that.

What you really need under your belt is experience. Voluntary work is utterly invaluable.

I ended up getting full time paid work through volunteering so hopefully that will make my UCAS application shine a bit more.

Capucine00 · 01/09/2015 09:59

However I'd caution you against using the mother thing as evidence of suitability. Admissions interviewers often dislike this as the important quality to possess is empathy. Having children does not necessarily mean you will be more empathetic and can indeed mean you over value your own personal experience at the expense of someone else's unique standpoint. You don't need to have had cancer to be the best oncology nurse and the best midwives are not necessarily parents.

Libitina · 01/09/2015 09:59

Go for it. I started an Access course at 34, my nursing degree at 36 and qualified as a nurse aged 39. I wasn't the oldest either. By a long shot.

OiledBegg · 01/09/2015 10:04

I graduated 6-7 years ago. I didn't get the honours though as never completed the dissertation.

OP posts:
ohtheholidays · 01/09/2015 10:05

Not mad at all,I think it's a great job to be able to do.

Some of the midwifes I had whilst in labour with our 5DC(not all at the same time Thank God)were really lovely people,some of them I couldn't imagine them doing any other job.My midwife with our 4th DC,DD12 was a friend of mine.That birth was by far the best,she cried when she delivered my little girl it was really lovely Smile

I know one lady not a midwife but a nurse,she's a single Mum with 2DC,she was about 5-6 years older than you when she started all her studies and training to become a nurse.Her children were both quite young as well when she started her studies and training.She said it's by far the best decision she ever made.

I went to college 3 days a week,worked part time and was Chair Woman of the local surestart at the time I was a single mum to 4DC.It was a wonderful time in mine and the childrens lifes it really was.

If you want it go for it OP.Good Luck Smile

KitKat1985 · 01/09/2015 10:06

OiledBegg: My brother is currently a mature student. I would advise contacting the college running the access course about what financial advice they can give students. Most have a financial advisor or similar. Similar with Uni once you've done the access course. I'd also advise in terms of part-time work getting registered on the NHS as a bank healthcare assistant (a bank contract means you will get offered shifts as and when they come up, so you can fit around your studies) which will get you some income and experience. Best of luck. x

QforCucumber · 01/09/2015 10:19

Would the NHS allow bank HCA's with no experience??

SacredHeart · 01/09/2015 10:19

I have just completed my access course and unfortunately the 24+ loan does exclude those with FE or HE qualifications.

My course was full time which equates to 3 days per week they had food vouchers, bus pass vouchers so there is some support. However like you I had to sustain myself without any real help.

I really would suggest biting the bullet and doing it by any means possible as, like you, I was not happy with my career and taking steps to change it has made me the happiest I have been in a long, long while!

KitKat1985 · 01/09/2015 10:32

QforCucumber Yes. I work as a nurse and a lot of people like to 'test' the role or gain experience by doing this. Most of the training is 'on the job' for HCAs. So at first an inexperienced HCA may just be doing tea runs etc, but after a while they will be shown by trained staff how to do physical obs etc.

QforCucumber · 01/09/2015 10:38

kitkat thanks for that,

I read this online so wasn't sure -
Our only stipulation is that you meet the minimum experience required by our client Trusts. This can be either three months or six months experience gained in the NHS, during the last two years. The number of months experience required, depends on which Trust/s you want to work at.

will have to look into it locally.

KitKat1985 · 01/09/2015 10:44

It does vary on a trust by trust basis, but yes, I know a lot of HCAs who started the job with no experience. That being said, obviously a ward may prefer to offer shifts to HCA's with more experience.

ValancyJane · 01/09/2015 10:51

Try and get some work experience; I work with a lady who did an access course last year and passed, and applied to study Midwifery. She was rejected, but they recommended that if she got some work experience she would be in a strong position to reapply next year, which she is now doing. I think a proportion of the places are always allocated to mature students too - so depending on the applicants, sometimes being a mature student can be a bonus.

Good luck with it, it's never too late Smile

Lj8893 · 01/09/2015 10:55

I start my midwifery degree this month!

I did an access course that was 2 days a week so easy to work alongside it. It was intense though!
You will get a 24+ learning loan to cover the fees, and your chosen college may do hardship bursarys etc. I had my childcare funded by the college.

I also have a previous degree and midwifery is on the excempt list for funding. You will get a NHS bursary and a small student finance loan.

Go for it!

WhatTheJeffHasGoneOnHere · 01/09/2015 10:55

I'm a nurse, you'll be fine at 29. We have lots of mature students

Itllbefiiiiiiiiine · 01/09/2015 11:03

If you didn't do the dissertation, do you have the degree? Is it recognised?

If not, it sounds as though the way Lj8893 did it is your answer, where there's a will there's a way!

And considering its September the 1st, I'd be calling the local college to see if there are any drop outs or spaces to start now.
Although the access courses in our are and hugely over subscribed, but there's a reason for that - they are really good. I found mine invaluable.

Lj8893 · 01/09/2015 11:10

Having a degree will make no difference in the finance you get on the midwifery degree.

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