Midwifery is an exciting and evolving profession. Midwives share the unique journey of a woman and her family from pregnancy to parenthood. Being involved in the birth of a new life is just one part of this rewarding career.

Midwives work with women to give support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period. The practice of midwifery includes:

  • conducting births
  • providing care for newborns and infants
  • preventative measures
  • promotion of normal birth
  • detecting complications in mother and child
  • accessing medical care or other assistance

Midwives play and important role in health counselling and education for women, their families and the community. This can include antenatal education and preparation for parenthood, women's health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.

Resources for Midwives

Your work as a midwife can take place in a variety of settings;

  • maternity units in public and private hospitals
  • antenatal clinics
  • caseload models
  • midwifery group practice
  • homes
  • birth centres
  • labour/birth suites
  • postnatal and neonatal units
  • community-based health services
  • universities (as midwives, teachers and researchers)
  • childbirth and parent education classes
  • private practice
  • in practice with obstetricians

Visiting Endorsed Midwife practice

NSW Health is committed to facilitating women's options for maternity care and supports public hospitals to enable admitting and practice rights for both midwives working in an individual capacity, and midwives employed by a private midwifery practice or Health Care Service.

An Endorsed Midwife is a registered midwife who holds endorsement with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to prescribe schedule 2, 3, 4 and 8 medicines.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) define a Privately Practicing Midwife as; 'Privately Practising Midwives (PPMs) mean a midwife who is working as sole practitioner, in partnership or in self-employed models and working on their own account. Midwives may also be deemed to be working in a private capacity when they provide midwifery services in a voluntary capacity as an individual or as part of a program run by a welfare, aid or charitable organisation where the organisation is not formally an employer'. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2021; Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives

For this reason, the Nursing and Midwifery Office (NaMO) are replacing the term Privately Practicing Endorsed Midwife (PPEM) with the broader term Visiting Endorsed Midwife (VEM) within the policy documents as the updated version is inclusive of endorsed midwives who are employed in either an external midwifery practice, or Health Service, inclusive of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCHS).

An Access Agreement outlines the terms and conditions under which the NSW public health organisation agrees to grant the privately practising endorsed midwife a right of access to the public hospital(s) operated by the public health organisation. 

Please find the  application form to apply for an access agreement with a maternity service in NSW Health.
The Access Agreement (Individual Midwife) is to be used by a midwife who provides private midwifery services in NSW health facilities in an individual capacity.

The Access Agreement (Midwifery Practice/Health Care Practice) is to be used by a midwifery practice or Health Care Practice that employs a midwife who provides private midwifery services in NSW Health facilities in the course of their employment with the midwifery practice or Health Care Practice.

Rural Midwifery

Midwives in rural NSW provide a crucial service for regional women and their families. They are eligible for a range of education initiatives.


Scholarships are available for all nurses and midwives from the NSW Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships pages.

Scholarship support is available for undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery students.

This supports the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives within the NSW public health system.

Midwifery in NSW Ministry of Health

The Principal Advisor of Midwifery supports the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer within the Nursing and Midwifery Office.

To ensure the profession of midwifery is well represented, this position works in collaboration with many branches across the Ministry of Health, My Health Learning and the Clinical Excellence Commission.

Kelley Lennon, Principal Advisor of Midwifery, Nursing and Midwifery Office

As our Principal Advisor of Midwifery, Kelley:

  • provides strategic policy advice on midwifery, maternity and child and family health matters.
  • leads, coordinates and develops public policy in relation to midwifery and child and family health workforce issues
  • leads and supports teams of NSW Health staff and key external stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of statewide projects in the areas of midwifery, maternity and child and family health services
  • provides expert guidance and clinical advice to the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (CNMO), the Ministry and Government on issues relating to midwifery, maternity and child and family health services

For additional information contact Kelley via email at Kelley.Lennon@health.nsw.gov.au or call the Nursing and Midwifery Office on (02) 9391 9528.

Current as at: Monday 30 October 2023
Contact page owner: Nursing and Midwifery