International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day

May 23, 2022

Share the link to this page with others to keep them informed


International Day of the Midwife – 100 years of progress 

International Day of the Midwife on the 5th of May celebrated 100 years of progress since the foundation of a midwifery professional group that has now become the International Confederation of Midwives. Midwives are integral to the care of people living with BBVs needing antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care and are well placed to support universal access to sexual and reproductive health services. ASHM values the role of the midwife and is excited about the continued opportunities for strengthening relationships with midwifery professionals. 


International Nurses Day – Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health. 

International Nurses Day on the 12th of May promoted the continued investment in nursing and the importance of global health. With the ongoing response to COVID-19, nurses are continuing to adapt to secure safe and equitable access to care for individuals and communities. ASHM values the role of nurses in providing care to people living with BBVs and those seeking sexual health care and remains committed to providing high-quality educational offerings and collaborating on advocacy and policy issues to strengthen nurses’ scope of practice. 

The critical role of the midwife in BBV and STI care has been acknowledged within ASHM courses historically developed for a nursing audience. ASHM has worked with midwife clinical advisors to ensure that course content reflects the work of midwives providing care to people living with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV and STIs during the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods.  

Michelle Alexander is a Registered Midwife, Clinical Nurse Specialist Grade 2 for Sexual Assault Services at John Hunter Hospital, Registered Nurse at Sexual Health Pacific Clinic (Hunter New England Health) and has provided their expertise as a clinical advisor for this work. Michelle shares her thoughts on International Day of the Midwife. 

What does International Day of the Midwife mean to you? How do you celebrate? 


International Day of the Midwife is a day to reflect on what it means to be a midwife, what it means to work alongside and be “with women” and to acknowledge the growth and professionalism of midwifery as a whole. I tend to celebrate with cake as there is often a lot of cake to be found close by on International Midwives Day.  

How can the value of Midwives providing care to people at risk of and living with blood-borne viruses and sexual health concerns be demonstrated and supported?  

Effective sexual health interventions before, during and after pregnancy that improve maternal and infant health such as screening for and treating STIs/BBVs will have long lasting positive health consequences for families and communities. Midwives need to have easy access to up to date information, education and referral pathways to support them when providing care to women and their families at risk of and living with blood-borne viruses and sexual health concerns. 


Education activities 

Coming soon! ASHM nurse webinar series  

A series of 4 webinars aiming to assist nurses in developing an understanding of what elements of their work are suitable for a conference abstract are currently in development. The webinars will provide practical guidance on how to translate activities into writing a successful abstract for a conference.   

The development of the webinar series is being led by a steering committee of nurses experienced in quality improvement, research, use of data, program implementation, abstract writing, and conference presentations. Nurses will be provided practical tips to break down activities undertaken in their role, consider ideas and break down the process of abstract writing and opportunities to share their experiences.     

Nurses will be encouraged to register for all four webinars, as each webinar will expand on learnings from preceding webinars, support skills development and increased confidence in showcasing your work. 

Sexual Health Nursing: Working with young people  

The nursing education program has expanded to include the Sexual Health Nursing: Working with young people course in the suite of education offerings, due to the demand and a need expressed by nurses. The course was designed and developed by a multidisciplinary steering committee including youth representation, sexual health and school-based youth health nurses, social workers, a psychologist and sexual health physician.


This course focuses on educating nurses to support young people to make healthy choices regarding their sexual health. It provides an overview of STIs and BBVs and their mode of transmission, as well as pathways available for young people to access services for their sexual healthcare needs. 

The next course is scheduled to commence on the 17th of May. Click here to register. 


C The whole story: Hepatitis C in Homelessness, AOD, and Mental Health Settings Forum – delivered 1st April 

C the Whole Story forum was a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaboration of nurses, NSP frontline workers, and peer workers across Australia to discuss shared experiences, strategies for success and innovative approaches to providing treatment to people living with hepatitis C in homelessness, AOD and mental health settings. 

The forum ran as a series of keynote sessions, lived experience sessions, Q&A with speakers and a networking session focused on implementing different approaches to settings using break out rooms (see the image of participants in a breakout room). 

A key theme arising from the forum was the importance of engaging and building rapport with the community, including listening to community voices, adapting services in accordance with their expressed needs and reducing barriers to hepatitis C testing and treatment. 

Congratulations Sinéad Sheils – winner Hepatitis NSW Cheryl Burman Award  

Sinéad Sheils, Hepatology Nurse Practitioner and President of the Australasian Hepatology Association Australasian Hepatology Association was awarded the 2021 Hepatitis NSW Cheryl Burman Award. The award acknowledges Sinéad “for her substantial contribution to improving the quality of life of people living with viral hepatitis” in NSW.  

Click here for more details.   


Other Articles and Publications

Become a Member

Experience the benefits of ASHM membership. With tailored options for healthcare professionals, students, and industry organisations, connect with peers and drive positive change in HIV, blood borne viruses, and sexual and reproductive health. Expand your network, access valuable resources, and stay at the forefront of advancements in your field. Shape the future of healthcare through ASHM membership. 

Scroll to Top