WHEN about 300 Southern Cross University students take to the stage today at their official graduation ceremony, Taylor Alexander may shed a tear.
The 20-year-old Evans Head woman will be one of just 12 students graduating in the first round of the SCU midwifery course completion.
Ms Alexander said she was inspired to study her three-year Bachelor of Midwifery because she was always "drawn" to the maternity unit when she was previously studying Aged Care at TAFE.
She later found out her maternal great-great-great-grandmother was a midwife of her day.
"I thought, oh my God, I really am meant to do this."
Ms Alexander has been working at the Lismore Base Hospital as an assistant midwife, and now, at the time of her graduation, she has been taken on as a casual midwife and will begin shifts this coming week, "hopefully".
She said the first time being part of a delivery was incredible.
"I was emotionally drained. They had Hallelujah playing in the background and that just set me off. It was the most moving, buzzing experience. It was amazing."
Ms Alexander went on to say in her first hands-on delivery, the experience was so moving for herself, the overseeing midwife, and the mother in labour, that it ended with quite a twist.
"We were all in tears. The mother insisted I cut the cord too - and then they gave the baby girl my middle name."
Course co-ordinator Maree Crepinsek said the degree was the only one of its kind between Newcastle and Brisbane, and addressed gaps in an ageing midwifery workforce.
"The scope of practice for midwives is much greater than it has been in the past," Ms Crepinsek said.