Three student midwives who graduated from the University of Stirling on 2 November marked the end of the last 18 month accelerated, registered midwifery programme in Scotland.
The graduates took part in a ceremony at St Andrew’s Cathedral in inverness, where more than 150 students from the University’s Highland and Western Isles campuses were awarded their degrees.
During the ceremony Dr Winifred Ewing was awarded Doctor of the University, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to politics and her role as a model for women in public life. Dr Ewing’s Honorary Degree was conferred in absentia.
During the last three years, Stirling has been the only University in Scotland to offer the unique 18 month shortened programme for registered nurses to train to become registered midwives.
The final students, including Allison Mackay and Arlene Little, enjoyed their special day marking the end of their studies together. Allison, from Tain, said: “I am very grateful to be part of the final 18 month accelerated midwifery course in Scotland. It is an honour to be part of any birth experience. I have met and learned from some exceptional midwives and plan to take every positive experience and make it part of my practice.”
Arlene, from Dunbeath, added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my training within the University. The experience gained has been unbelievable and most of it will stick with me forever. I would like to thank my mentors for this as they have taught me most of what I know.”
As part of the course, the student midwives observed midwifery practice in a wide variety of settings, including many remote and rural areas within a large geographical region. This helped demonstrate the differences between consultant-led care such as that available in the maternity unit at Raigmore Hospital, midwife-led care in the community, and midwife-led units where they had observed first-hand the decision-making skills of midwives working in often isolated situations.