SA boosts midwifery numbers with re-entry program

Tuesday, 05 September, 2023

SA boosts midwifery numbers with re-entry program

South Australia is boosting its health workforce with a new re-entry program, aimed at assisting qualified midwives to rejoin the midwifery workforce by refreshing vital skills and knowledge in clinical settings.

The RESET-M pilot program established by Flinders University, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) and Your Nursing Agency (YNA) is a program enabling midwives that have not worked clinically for an extended period of time to update knowledge and skillset in order to support a return to the workforce.

Current regulations require midwives out of practice for five or more years to complete a formal refresher course approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to be active on the register.

The program is currently seeing five midwives undertake a short course in the clinical labs and simulation suite at the Flinders University Sturt campus, learning updated practices in the workforce. This involves completing two paid supernumerary clinical shifts at the Lyell McEwin Hospital after the workshops (funded by YNA), with the support of the university and NAHLN clinical staff.

The midwives, employed and insured by YNA, will then undertake eight shifts over three months in selective maternity wards at the same hospital to complete their retraining process.

RESET-M pilot lead investigator Dr Megan Cooper, at Flinders University, said the aim of the program is to support midwives who have the ambition and drive to return to clinical midwifery practice to regain confidence in their knowledge and skill base.

Dr Megan Cooper, The RESET-M pilot lead investigator at Flinders University.

“The RESET-M program is specifically designed to enable participants to regain midwifery knowledge and skills to enhance their confidence in returning to clinical midwifery practice. If successful, there is potential for the program to be rolled out in other local health networks, and modified for other disciplines in the health service.

“The program reinforces key midwifery skills and covers clinical updates, protocol changes, obstetric emergencies and the latest midwifery research to inform best practice. Content is aligned with the Midwife Standards for Practice and the National Safety and Quality Health Care Service Standards. We really hope to address current staff retention challenges in health services to grow the pool of midwives in SA.”

The re-entry program is funded by a partnership grant from Flinders University, YNA and NAHLN with the aim of supporting clinical opportunities that enhance midwives’ confidence in rejoining the aging workforce.

Top image: Reset M Midwifery Program. Left: Zoe Yates, RESET-M program participant. Right: Sally Haskard, Lead educator – RESET-M program.
Images courtesy of Flinders University.

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