Midwifery clinical practice experience is undertaken by students in all two study pathways of the midwifery program.

Students are placed in community agencies and hospitals in Adelaide, and may apply for placement in rural and regional areas.

Midwifery clinical practice takes place in a variety of settings including antenatal clinics, antenatal high-risk areas, delivery suites or birthing centres, post-natal wards (including domiciliary midwifery), Midwifery and Group Practice, neonatal unit. This variety of experience ensures that graduates are adaptable to different models of care and contexts of practice and can respond to changing healthcare needs and consumer demands.

Midwifery professional experience must be gained in several categories, reflecting a woman’s pregnancy, birthing and postnatal experience:

• antenatal
• postnatal
• delivery suite
• domiciliary

Midwifery students are also required by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia to have a record of at least 40 births, 100 antenatal visits, 100 postnatal visits and 20 continuity of care experiences during the course of their degree to qualify as midwives. The first three of these are gained during regular clinical placement, but the 20 continuity of care experiences are organised independently of regular professional experience placements.

Midwifery placements

For the Bachelor of Midwifery (18-month program—pathway 2, for registered nurses) in first semester and part of second semester, metropolitan students are placed in metropolitan hospitals, and rural students are placed in their own geographical area.

In the first semester the focus is on normal pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period. In the second semester students are required to undertake part of their placement in a major metropolitan hospital where the focus is on existing conditions and complications of pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period.

Placement for first-year undergraduate midwifery students is undertaken in a block placement at venues in the same manner as for nursing students.

In the second year, students are placed in a metropolitan hospital for two days per week for 16 weeks each semester. In the third year, students are placed in a midwifery clinical venue for 3 days a week throughout semester 1, and undertake a full-time practicum in semester 2.

Students in the pre-registration midwifery pathway (three years) are required to undertake 32 shifts, in an antenatal clinic/women’s health clinic/fertility clinic, a post-natal venue, a domiciliary setting, and in a delivery suite/labour ward/birth centre.

Post-registration students are required to undertake 50 shifts in a similar range of settings. Attendance arrangements for post-registration midwifery students (that is, those in pathway 2 (for registered nurses) and pathway 3 (for registered midwives)), are more flexible and can usually accommodate students’ personal and professional needs. These students will undertake midwifery professional experience in their own setting as much as is possible, depending on the placements available.

Placements are organised by the Topic Coordinator, the Professional Experience Placements Unit and the Clinical Facilitator. You will be given your roster for the whole semester and once this has been done there will be no changes. We realise that there may be exceptions and any requests for change must be negotiated with the topic coordinator. Students will be placed in their own professional setting as much as is possible, depending on the clinical experiences available.

Midwifery student continuity of care experiences

In each year of the midwifery study program students are required to provide continuity of care to women through their experience of pregnancy and childbirth in a variety of settings.

A continuity of care experience is an ongoing midwifery relationship between the student and a woman, from initial contact in the woman’s early pregnancy through to the weeks immediately after she has given birth. These experiences enable students to experience continuity with individual women through pregnancy, labour and birth and the post-natal period.

Midwifery students must attend 40 births and carry out 20 continuity of care experiences during their course.

In the first year midwifery students are required to provide continuity of care to no more than 6 women, mainly in an observational and supportive role, under the direct supervision of a registered midwife. In the second and third years midwifery students are required to provide continuity of care to 6 and 8 women each year respectively, providing a more active role in the care of the woman and her family.
An important part of these continuity of care experiences is the need to keep an accurate record of any birth you attend at a hospital or other venue.

You must notify the hospital/venue beforehand of your intention to attend a birth as part of your continuity of care experiences. You do this by completing and submitting the online Continuity of care venue notification form.

The Professional Experience Placements Unit will then send a formal letter to the hospital/venue.

Birth attendances

Before you attend a birth as part of a continuity of care experience but which is not part of your rostered professional experience placement you must notify the University of your intention. You must also notify the University when you leave the premises at which the birth has taken place.

You must do this for every birth you attend that is not part of your rostered professional experience placement. This is necessary for insurance purposes. The information will be stored on a database in the Professional Experience Placements office.

To do this, complete and submit the Birth attendance log online form. This form relates specifically to attending the birth of the women you are following through.

Application for request for exemption

Students undertaking the clinical topic MIDW3304, Clinical Knowledge for Midwifery Practice, are entitled to apply for exemption from professional experience placement if they can provide evidence of the following: Registered Nurse currently working, or has recently worked, in a Neonatal Special Care or Intensive Care Unit.  For access to the form please click on:  Request for Exemption MidW3304 Special Care Nursery (DOCX 27KB)


Students MUST attend orientation at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital prior to attending with the woman they are following through.  If you do not attend an orientation you will not be allowed to attend the venue.  Please check on the venue information page of the professional experience placement website for orientation dates.
Once you have found out from the woman you are following through that she expects the birth of her child to be at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital, you need to arrange to attend orientation as soon as possible. 

Please send an email to the Professional Experience Placement Unit advising which date you will attend orientation.  We will forward the information to the venue.