The Midwifery Master's Course

Update date:2021年3月19日 Page :0000322

Midwifery Education in Japan

Midwifery is an independent nursing occupation in Japan. All midwives are educated as nurses and midwives and have licensure as a registered nurse and separate licensure as a midwife. The minimum length of education and training required to receive licensure in Japan is three years for nurses and one year for midwives. There are various midwifery education programs in Japan, such as graduate school Master’s courses; undergraduate courses; undergraduate non-degree programs; undergraduate special courses; junior college non-degree programs; and vocational schools. The current midwifery environment in Japan is characterized by the progression of our declining birthrate, the aging of expectant mothers, a lack of obstetricians, a decrease in parturient facilities and a concurrent advancement of perinatal medical and assisted reproductive technology. Therefore, midwives are required to possess advanced diagnostic and practical midwifery skills and the ability to collaborate with other medical professionals including obstetricians.

Characteristics of Our Course

The mission of our Master’s course is to expand the scope of activity and social importance of midwifery activities in Japan. OUNHS established a two-year midwifery Master’s course in our Graduate School in 2004 to train midwives who have the maternity care competencies needed for providing advanced perinatal care for high-risk pregnancies and labor puerperal. 

Our curriculum is based on the ICM’s “Global Standards for Midwifery Education” and we aim to improve and expand safe delivery by training our students in health promotion, preventive treatment, promotion of normal delivery as a physiological state, discovery of mother-child complications, improvement of care for newborn babies, emergency treatment, and encouragement of our students as maternal health care professionals to consult with and educate families and communities about health problems.

Course Curriculum

OUNHS introduced a new midwifery curriculum in 2014 in order for students to acquire and improve the practical skills required for advanced perinatal mother and child health care. Our curriculum features course content on high-risk pregnancy, childbirth puerpera and high-risk newborn babies, along with laboratory practice on ultrasound simulators and perineorrhaphy simulators. In particular, all students are assigned three pregnancies to care for from their first year in order to foster their ability to provide continuous care and support throughout the periods of pregnancy, delivery, puerperium and childcare. Midwifery students are required by law to assist at no fewer than 10 deliveries under the supervision of a midwife or doctor, but our curriculum requires that each student should aim to assist in at least 12 deliveries. 

After Graduation and Licensure

At present, over 40 of our graduates have completed our course and most are employed in perinatal centers in tertiary emergency medical facilities dealing with obstetric emergencies. They are imbued with a strong spirit of inquiry concerning midwifery and are highly competent professional practitioners who are well regarded at their workplaces.