MID5005 - Advancing midwifery practice - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Helen Hall


Associate Professor Helen Hall

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Flexible)


Advancing Midwifery Practice is a 12 Credit Point theory and practice unit designed to meet the needs of students wishing to develop advanced midwifery skills and knowledge within particular contexts. Midwifery practice in Australia and overseas is increasingly faced with women requiring technological solutions to complex clinical situations. Obstetrics as a profession is shrinking in numbers, and the impact of a lack of professional indemnity insurance has forced the reordering of maternity services. Government policies and reports advocate for an increased role for midwifery in the provision of maternity services at all levels of risk. In many countries around the world midwifery is at the forefront of a range of complexity of maternity care, but the preparation of midwives for complex practice is ad hoc and poorly realised.

This Unit aims to prepare midwives with the knowledge for skills development in complex clinical situations. The unit is structured to allow flexibility and individualisation of the content to better meet the needs of individual practitioners and their practice settings. Theoretical knowledge will include pathophysiology, technology, evidence and practice issues related to skills clusters. These clusters include: Prenatal, Perinatal, Postnatal and High Risk.

Opportunities will be given for students to participate in an inter-professional workshop with medical students to acquire some complex clinical skills. Students will understand the requirement and processes necessary for evidence based practice and will gain skills for its implementation in an environment that might be resistant. Students will have the opportunity to critique self and context in relation to evidence in practice. Students will also identify potential for developing collegial and collaborative relationships to other maternity service providers within a practice setting (eg medical practitioners, allied health professionals, nurses and community groups). Portfolio of work, tutorial presentations and participation.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills for advanced midwifery practice in collaborative and/or autonomous roles;
  2. Demonstrate sound clinical decision making skills based on evidence, experience and collaboration and consultation;
  3. Provide individualised, holistic midwifery care that meets complex psychosocial and physical needs;
  4. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the legal and ethical issues for midwifery practice;
  5. Demonstrate ability to identify skills and knowledge deficits in self and others within the student's own maternity context;
  6. Demonstrate ability to critique and promote the role of the midwife in contemporary maternity services;
  7. Demonstrate sophisticated interdisciplinary communication and negotiation skills for the advancement of quality in maternity care; and
  8. Demonstrate ability to monitor and improve own practice in accordance with Australian College of Midwives Competency Standards for Midwifery Practice and the Nurses Board of Victoria Code of Practice for Midwives.


  • Written assignment (60%) (Students must achieve a pass in this assessment to pass the unit) (Hurdle)
  • Tutorial presentation (20%)
  • Participation in online discussion (20%)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Nursing and midwifery

Clinical midwifery