Becoming a Midwife

I want to be a midwife

Being a midwife is a very rewarding career. Every day across Aotearoa New Zealand midwives work with wahine and their whānau as they journey through pregnancy, labour and birth and then transition to parenthood.

Midwives can work in the community providing continuity of care to women or they can be based in hospital looking after women or babies during their admission. Midwives are skilled and competent practitioners who have completed a specialist degree. Registration and a practising certificate enables midwives to provide care to women. However the act under which midwives practice requires them to maintain their knowledge and skills. Midwives are found not only in clinical practice but also in education working at one of the universities or polytechnics, undertaking research, working on policy that impacts on care provided to women or in the regulation of practitioners – ensuring the safety of women and their babies.

What does it take to qualify as a midwife?

In Aotearoa to be midwife you must complete our education programme, meeting all of its clinical and theoretical requirement and then meet the requirements for registration. The required education programme is a four-year Bachelor’s degree provided through two universities, AUT and Victoria, and three polytechnics Ara, Otago Polytechnic and Wintec.

Before they can be registered, all New Zealand graduates must:

  • pass the National Midwifery Examination set by Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu | Midwifery Council (the Council); and
  • satisfy the Council that they are fit for registration and must:
  • be of good character
  • declare any mental or physical condition that will prevent them from practising effectively as a midwife
  • be able to communicate effectively
  • be proficient in written and spoken English

If you are at school the Council strongly encourages you to review our requirements for entry to the programme. Midwifery requires individuals to have sound science knowledge and anyone considering a career should study chemistry and biology.

If you are not a school leaver but want to be a midwife then, depending on your circumstances, you may need to complete study before you are able to enter a programme of education. The Council encourages you to contact the local school of midwifery to talk to them about applications.

Health Professional Regulation - click the video below to learn about the role of health regulators