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(L-R) College of Nursing Dean Beverly O’Connell, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart and Vice-Provost (Integrated Planning and Academic Programs) David Collins.

(L-R) College of Nursing Dean Beverly O'Connell, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart and Vice-Provost (Integrated Planning and Academic Programs) David Collins. // Photo by Chris Reid

Midwifery education continues in Manitoba

August 5, 2016 — 

The University of Manitoba will partner with McMaster University to deliver its Midwifery Education Program in Manitoba, the provincial government and U of M announced today.

The University of Manitoba signed a memorandum of understanding with McMaster University this week to offer admission to current students who have successfully completed the first year of Manitoba’s midwifery program.

The innovative approach means current midwifery students will be enrolled into the second year of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University and receive credits for courses taken that meet equivalency requirements.

Students will be offered a modified fall term so they can complete the courses required by the Ontario Midwifery Education Program to move into clinical midwifery placements.  The program will be delivered in Manitoba.

“This new partnership will ensure the midwifery students in Manitoba who have already invested significant time and effort toward their studies can complete their coursework uninterrupted,” said Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart.  “We are proud to follow through on a commitment that was made and I commend our partners for their hard work in reaching this resolution, which will help meet the growing demand for midwives in our province.”

Established in 1993, McMaster’s Ontario Midwifery Education Program (MEP) is the oldest in Canada. McMaster already offers a collaborative midwifery program with Laurentian and Ryerson universities.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with McMaster University,” said Dr. Beverly O’Connell, dean, College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.  “Our homegrown solution positions the current midwifery students for success in their chosen health professions and bodes well for meeting the midwifery needs of women and families around the province.”

The U of M will provide instruction by qualified College of Nursing midwifery instructors for any didactic courses (as determined by McMaster) such as Clinical Skills courses and labs. U of M will also host the online courses delivered by McMaster and support the students’ learning across the curriculum.

The College of Nursing will appoint a clinical placement coordinator to strategically map out all clinical placements and ensure the midwifery students have sound clinical placements across the province. As well, U of M will advise preceptors supervising the midwifery students about the students’ learning needs and program expectations.

“McMaster University Midwifery Program is delighted to be working with the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba government on this innovative educational program,” said Dr. Eileen Hutton, assistant dean, midwifery and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University.  “This collaboration will build on McMaster’s expertise in midwifery education and support the growth of midwifery in Manitoba.”

As a regulated health profession in Manitoba, midwives care for women and newborns in communities, homes, clinics, birth centres and hospitals.  Manitoba midwives work throughout the province including in northern and rural areas.

O’Connell said the new partnership forged with McMaster will help answer the growing demands for midwives and help meet the needs of Indigenous communities in rural and northern Manitoba.

“We will liaise very closely with McMaster University to ensure the quality of its program is upheld and our students are supported for success,” said O’Connell.

She also noted the partnership will give women across Manitoba the option of midwifery care during their pregnancy, labour, delivery and postpartum. “Thank you again to the province, to McMaster University and all involved at the University of Manitoba for making this a great day for midwifery education–and women’s reproductive health–in Manitoba.”

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One comment on “Midwifery education continues in Manitoba

  1. Jules

    This is wonderful, but I do wonder about the long term solutions for this program? Many people interested in this program or who are still in high school may be put out. Not everyone can afford to move across the country for schooling, but would be amazing caregivers. I do hope this partnership can continue in coming years.

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