'Becoming the midwife I have in my head': a qualitative multiple case study of midwifery students' voices during their journey to qualification

PhD Thesis

Jackson, J. 2023. 'Becoming the midwife I have in my head': a qualitative multiple case study of midwifery students' voices during their journey to qualification. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions
AuthorsJackson, J.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

In light of declining midwifery staffing levels, increased attrition in midwifery education and issues around standards of practice the student voice appears to be a largely neglected focus in addressing these issues. This research aims to identify midwifery students’ experiences of their education journey to qualify as midwives.

The study was informed by a constructivist interpretive paradigm and employed a multiple-case study approach. A purposive sample of students was recruited from two Higher Education Institutes in different parts of England from a cross-section of students from all years of the pre-registration midwifery programme. They were invited to take part in unstructured focus groups and/or interviews in two phases over one academic year. Data were transcribed and analysed using a grounded theory approach, together with Harré’s Positioning Theory which was used as a sensitising framework.

The findings identify that students’ experiences developed their professionalism which was formed through their positioning of themselves, or positioned by others, in relation to clinical mentors, university lecturers, student peers and the women they cared for. Midwifery students enter the programme as novices and develop professionally during the programme. They are influenced by the workplace cultures of the university and the clinical placements.

A conceptual model of ‘Aspiration to Fruition – becoming a midwife’, illustrates how students developed their midwifery knowledge and skills on an educational continuum from Year 1, through Year 2 and Year 3. This shaped their midwifery philosophy for normal physiological birth. Decision-making processes to remain on the programme centred around keeping alive the ‘Image of the midwife I have in my head’.

KeywordsMidwifery students' voice; Education journey
File Access Level
Publication process dates
Deposited14 May 2024
Permalink -


Download files

  • 41
    total views
  • 27
    total downloads
  • 9
    views this month
  • 2
    downloads this month

Export as