Biggs J. Teaching for Quality Learning at University, 4th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press; 2011

Bursaries have been scrapped. 2017. (accessed 11 December 2017)

Department of Health. Quality with Compassion: the future of nursing education: Report of the Willis Commission. 2012. (accessed 11 December 2017)

Gorski MS, Farmer PD, Sroczynski M, Close L, Wortock JM. Nursing Education Transformation: Promising Practices in Academic Progression. J Nurs Educ. 2015; 54:(9)509-15

Health Education Funding Council for England. The Teaching and Excellence Framework. 2017. (accessed 12 December 2017)

A student guide to using feedback. 2010. (accessed 12 December 2017)

Quinn FM, Hughes SJ. Quinn's principles and practice of nurse education, 6th edn. Andover: Cengage Learning; 2013

Knowles M. The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, 4th edn. Houston: Gulf Publishing; 1990

McDonald PJ. Transitioning from clinical practice to nursing faculty: lessons learned. J Nurs Educ. 2010; 49:(3)126-31

Northridge A. The Good Study Guide.Maidenhead: Open University Press; 2007

Standards for pre-registration midwifery education.London: NMC; 2009

Race P. The Lecturer's Toolkit, 3rd edn. Routledge: London; 2006

Race P. Making Learning Happen, Third edition. London: Sage; 2014

Sustaining and managing the delivery of student nurse mentorship: roles, resources, standards and debates. Report for the NHS London ‘Readiness for Work’ programme. (accessed 11 December 2017)

Russell K, Williams J. A values-based curriculum to support aesthetic ‘ways of knowing’ in an undergraduate midwifery programme. British Journal of Midwifery. 2017; 25:(12)793-8

Walsh D. The Nurse Mentor's Handbook: Supporting Students In Clinical Practice, 2nd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press; 2014

The transition from clinical practice to education

02 January 2018
Volume 26 · Issue 1


Every midwife will make the transition from education to the clinical setting, but moving from clinical practice to a new role in midwifery education can be just as much of a change. The decision to transition from clinical practice to a midwifery academic educator role should be carefully considered. As part of the midwifery education in action series, this article will reflect on the authors' own move into education and share these experiences with those who may also wish to choose this career path. After more than three years in post, there is much to be shared; however, this article will also include a brief review of midwifery education, how best to support student learning and assessment, and how to prioritise career development.

After 20 years in clinical practice (initially as a registered general nurse and then a registered midwife), a secondment opportunity presented to take up a role as a practice healthcare lecturer at the University of Nottingham. I am interested in midwifery education and was already practising as a clinical educator and mentor to student midwives, so this seemed an excellent opportunity to experience midwifery education from an academic perspective. Despite being a senior midwife and expert labour suite clinician, the role as a novice educator was a daunting prospect and required a period of transition from clinical practice to academia McDonald (2010). This article focuses on making the transition, and provides advice to anyone looking to make a similar career change in the future.

It is important for academic educators to be aware of the socio-political landscape regarding higher education and healthcare provision. Midwifery education in the UK has seen a number of developments, from the regulation of the profession and the Midwives Act in 1902 to the present day, where midwifery education is well established in universities. Further changes are still to come, with the review of the new standards for pre-registration education by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2009). Gorski et al (2015) argues that there have been huge changes in healthcare provision but that healthcare education has been slow to change in the face of social and scientific advances.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month