By: 3 April 2013

Dr Jayne Marshall, a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, has been nominated for a Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Award for leading an innovative work-based education programme for midwives.

Dr Marshall, of the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, has been instrumental in implementing the Developing Midwifery Practice Through Work-Based Learning module which is one of the core modules for experienced practising midwives undertaking the BSc (Hons) in Midwifery Studies Pathway.

The module was devised as a way of offering midwives the opportunity to complete part of their degree in their own workplace, providing them with the flexibility to more effectively balance the pressures of work and home life with their studies and undertake novel project work.

Dr Marshall’s innovative work has led to her being shortlisted for this national award in the Johnson’s Baby Award for Excellence in Midwifery Education category.

Dr Marshall said: “It is indeed an honour and privilege to be recognised nationally by my peers for the work I have initiated in enabling experienced midwives to become graduates and at the same time observe them gaining confidence to undertake project work that can have benefit to them in their career progression through making valuable contributions to developing the maternity services in which they work.”

The work-based project can take many forms and midwives have been instrumental in developing clinical guidelines, information leaflets and booklets for parents and staff, internet resources such as virtual maternity unit tours and intranet staff training packages.

Each project has proven to have had a positive effect on the midwives’ own professional and career development as well as their clinical practice and that of their colleagues, their employing organisation and more importantly the care provided to local women, their babies and families. The midwives’ projects are approved beforehand with the module leader and employer in the form of a learning action plan (LAP) and each midwife has both an academic and work-based supervisor to support them in completing their project.

An evaluative study has been undertaken by Dr Marshall in order to examine the effect this module has had on both the individual midwife and in developing midwifery practice. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with midwives and their employers clearly recognising the tangible benefits of the project work in developing the local maternity and neonatal services.

The RCM’s Johnson’s Baby Award for Excellence in Midwifery Education recognises those who have led and pioneered work in midwifery education, and influenced the theory and practice of midwives to the benefit of clinical practice, and care of mothers, their babies and families.