Hello everyone and welcome to 2024! I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, reviewers and authors a very Happy New Year. I hope that the holidays have afforded you all a chance to rest and recuperate, and that you are ready for another year.
In our first issue of the new year, the British Journal of Midwifery has several articles discussing topics related to midwifery education, including research on midwifery students' experiences of clinical placement and a professional article that explores how to build strong foundations for students learning leadership and management skills. We also have our first Sapientia article, exploring midwifery and higher education. The journal's new Sapientia section aims to highlight the importance of education and training for the midwifery workforce, and shine a light on the excellent work being done by students and educators across the UK (McEwan and Editorial Board, 2023).
Our first Sapientia article is part one of a six-part series exploring themes arising from the Royal College of Midwives' (2023) State of Midwifery Education report. The report itself published data on many aspects of midwifery education, including the age and qualifications of midwifery educators, the staff to student ratio and diversity in the higher education workforce. The report ended by ‘looking forward’, highlighting some of the positive messages to be taken from the report, such as the increasing number of midwifery students and earlier academic career opportunities for midwives. It also outlined the challenges that need to be tackled, including the need for more midwifery educators to match the growing number of students and a lack of diversity among educators.
As the new year begins, I feel that the ‘looking forward’ approach taken by the report's conclusion is something that can be applied on a more personal level as well. We can all benefit from taking the time to evaluate the positives of 2023. For example, in the first issue of last year, Maria Benedetti (2023) encouraged midwives to seek out opportunities for coaching in the new year; those who did so may wish to reflect on their experiences of the opportunity and what they have learned. Whether the positives from the year mean reflecting on professional achievements or success in personal goals, it is worth taking note of our accomplishments.
As we look forward to 2024, we can decide on the challenges that we want to face in the coming year. For some, this may mean taking on new responsibilities in the professional sphere or embarking on a midwifery career as a newly graduated midwife. Others may have more personal goals for the year, perhaps focusing on exploring new interests or learning a new skill. Whatever the challenges we decide to take on, I am sure that we will all make 2024 an incredible year.