Australia has at least 360,000 registered nurses and midwives, with 40% aged 50 or over. Midwifery is a challenging but also hugely rewarding career and provides crucial support to women and their babies before, during and after childbirth. Midwives are in high demand in Australia, with warnings of significant staff shortages by 2025. For anyone considering midwifery as a career, age should be no barrier. Late career changes are becoming more popular and if you want to pursue a midlife career change to follow your interests then there is no perfect age to do so.
Benefits Of A Late Career Change
While nearly half of all students are over 25, over 134,000 students each year are in their 40’s. Most career changes happen around this age, followed by people in their 30’s and 50s. A long life expectancy, higher cost of education, changes to benefits and retirement plans are encouraging people to consider working later in life. With the prospect of working until they are at least 70, many Australian’s are now more interested in switching careers later on in life to fit their changing interests and lifestyles.
Retraining Later In Life
While it might be something you feel passionate about, retraining as a midwife might be a daunting prospect, especially the thought of being back in a classroom after so long. But the good news is that you can get a good amount of help and support during your training. As you learn more on the job, your confidence will grow and you will start to understand all the elements of your training better. Shift work can also take a bit of getting used to. Often, the thought of being up all night is actually worse than the reality of being awake. You’ll find your way of coping and getting used to it. If you worried about how you will adjust to working shifts, try to get some work experience as a volunteer or maternity support worker before you apply.
How To Become A Midwife
To become a midwife, you need a nursing degree and postgraduate midwifery qualification or a Bachelor of Midwifery. For students who already have nursing qualifications, they will need to complete a Master of Midwifery or a Graduate Diploma. Once you have completed your training you can then apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board to practice as a midwife. Registration needs to be renewed every year and midwives are required to complete 20 hours of annual professional development.
Your age shouldn’t stop you from considering midwifery as a career. When you realise that your dream is to be a midwife, don’t let your age standing in the way and focus instead on making that dream a reality.