Midwifery in Iceland: From vocational training to university education

Olof A. Olafsdottir*, Hildur Kristjansdottir, Berglind Halfdansdottir, Helga Gottfredsdottir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Midwifery education is a foundation for health professionals’ competence in providing quality healthcare for the benefit of women, their families and society. This paper describes midwifery and the development of midwifery education in Iceland. It examines policy and extensive reforms, from hospital-based vocational training in midwifery to an academic university education, and the impact on the scope of midwifery practice in Iceland. The university-based programme, with its emphasis on autonomy of the midwife, seems to have affected the context of home birth and strengthened midwives’ role in primary healthcare. Education reform with a focus on evidence-based practice and midwife-led continuity of care has had limited influence within the hospital system, where the structure of care is fragmented and childbirth is under threat of increasing interventions. Research is needed on the role of education in supporting evidence-based practice, normal childbirth and reproductive health in the Icelandic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-106
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Other keywords

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Iceland
  • Ideology
  • Midwifery
  • Midwifery education


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