Midwifery in Iceland: time to celebrate.

AuteurOlafsdottir, Olof Asta

This year 2008 and the next 2009, Icelandic midwifery has a reason to celebrate some of its defining moments: the 10 years since graduation of the first group of midwives from the University of Iceland and the 90-year anniversary of the Icelandic Midwifery Association.

Since 1964, midwifery education in Iceland has been a two-year programme. Until 1982 it was a direct entry programme but then the admission requirements changed and a nursing education became the level of entry, with the total length of education for midwives being 5-6 years. In 1996 a new two-year Programme of Midwifery Education started within the University of Iceland, offering a candidate degree (Candidata Obstetriciorum) with qualifications to be registered and licensed to practise midwifery in Iceland.

Until this new programme started, midwifery education in Iceland had been headed by doctors. Now for the first rime in the 235-year history of midwifery education, Icelandic midwives have had full control over their own curriculum. Moreover the Latin degree awarded refers to the old term of obstetrix for the midwife, put to use in this way, after having been taken from us by medicine.

Thus essential changes in midwifery education has been going on in recent decades and in 2008 we celebrate that 10 years have passed since the...

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