Developing a career and education framework for advanced clinical practice in midwifery

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Introduction: This study outlines the nature of Advanced Clinical Practice in Midwifery (ACPiM), reporting on a stakeholder analysis as part of a national project to develop a career framework for advanced practice in midwifery on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

Methods: Between June and July 2022, 31 advanced practice midwives were recruited across England within the NHS settings. Convenience sampling was used to identify midwives working as advanced practitioners, and those pursuing this career route. Focus group and one-to-one interviews were conducted, recorded, and transcribed. These stakeholder data were then analyzed using a reflexive thematic approach.

Results: ACP midwives were active across many professional settings. The findings resulted in three themes: Midwifery autonomy, Desire for progression, and Avenues of support. Midwifery autonomy highlighted a midwifery desire to utilize specialist skills and expert decision-making to provide holistic care directly to women and families. Desire for progression highlighted that, regardless of career stage, midwives aspired to advance their practice requiring a range of pathways to fulfil career satisfaction and meet local population health needs. Avenues of support discussed the barriers and facilitators to progression, highlighting the need for service vision, a multi-disciplinary approach to facilitate support for individuals, and strong midwifery leadership.

Conclusions: Although the ACPiM role is desired by maternity institutions and organizations, midwives remain unclear about how to achieve this position, and employers remain unsure of how an ACPiM could transform services. If midwives are to successfully achieve ACPiM status, organizational support is needed to facilitate individuals drive for career progression, resulting in a strengthened workforce and improved patient experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalEuropean Journal of Midwifery
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024


  • advanced clinical prctice
  • midwiefry
  • midwifery career
  • scope of practice
  • midwifery education
  • midwifery career progress
  • advanced clinical practice
  • midwifery
  • midwifery career progression

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