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Support for Learning in the Cinical Area: The Experiences of Post-registration Student Midwives.


Prior to 2006 Irish midwifery education was available only in the form of postgraduate in-
hospital training to registered nurses. Since 2006 midwifery education continues to be offered
as a postgraduate course but it is also available as a direct entry undergraduate programme in
a number of Irish third level institutions. In line with these changes in Irish midwifery education,
National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery
identified, among other priorities, the need to provide educational support for student midwives
in the clinical area because acquisition of fundamental skills will facilitate their smooth and
sound transition into the workforce given that they will be the future functioning midwives. This
study explores postgraduate post registration student midwives’ experiences of learning
support in the clinical area. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used. The students
were registered in one of the Schools of Midwifery in an Irish third level institution. A purposive
sample of six student midwives participated in individual face-to-face tape-recorded interviews
to discuss their experiences. Data analysis revealed six major themes that represent student
midwives’ experiences of support for learning in the clinical setting – lack of support, learning
environment, employee status, support strategies, ways of learning, and theory-practice
integration. During the clinical learning process participants felt abandoned by the more senior
staff while the senior students and the newly qualified midwives were supportive

Suggested citation:

. () Support for Learning in the Cinical Area: The Experiences of Post-registration Student Midwives. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 16th June 2019].


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