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Nursing Essay - A New Career Path for Nurses in Australia

Midwives are becoming more present and professional in the medical community throughout the world. Once dismissed by the medical establishment, more people than ever are branching over from traditional nursing to become nurse midwives. Though one does not have to be a nurse to become a midwife in Australia, new career opportunities in the field of midwifery are now seen as viable career options for nurses. As more and more people are growing disenchanted with the over medicalization and industrialization of pregnancy and obstetrics, midwives are finding themselves in greater demand everywhere.

To become a registered midwife after years in the nursing field in Australia, a further graduate diploma or a Master's of Midwifery degree is all that is required. This can normally be accomplished in eighteen months, leading to greater opportunities within the medical field. Moreover, since more and more couples are opting to deliver their children in birth centres or even at home, midwives are becoming increasingly more prevalent. While most births in Australia are still performed at hospitals, there has been a sharp increase in the number of home births attended by registered midwives. From 2009 to 2010, there was a 56% increase in the number of homebirths with 863 homebirths in 2009 and 1345 homebirths in 2010.

However, many other couples are opting for birth centres that also employ registered midwives to deliver their babies. Birth centres are designed to be more comfortable, relaxed, and cosier with larger beds, bath tubs, lax rules on eating and drinking during labour, as well as the use of music. Like many expectant parents, many nurses in Australia are looking for a more natural return to medicine that is distinct from the highly regimented and controlled atmosphere of the hospital. As a result, the career of midwifery allows nurses to facilitate births themselves in more relaxed and natural environments.

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