I think both have their pros & cons, and it'll be interesting to see how getting rid of the postgraduate programs affects the workforce. Currently I believe midwives are one of the most in-demand areas, and most midwives at the moment are also RN's, so it'll be interesting to see how the bulk of midwives coming through the direct-entry program affects the supply of midwives. I think it will reduce the number of RN's wanting to study midwifery, but for those who know straight off the bat they want to go into midwifery, it'll probably encourage them even more. When I did my BNursing midwifery didn't even exist as a direct entry- it was all postgrad- man I feel old now!
Like has been said earlier- with the direct entry you do spend 3 years learning about one specific area. Which is certainly good. I guess the cons are that room for movement in the hospital is far less than having dual RN/ midwife registration. With the postgrad most basic training is already taken care of- A&P, basic skills eg meds, IV's, etc, etc, are already learned so they can spend the year just focusing on the specific stuff. I don't think one group comes out more qualified than another.
As for overseas registration- that's a pain in the neck to get whichever way you go about your degrees- overseas nursing councils (apart from Aust/ NZ who have to recognise each other's degrees) will always find something wrong with something you've done! I'm trying to deal with one particular overseas nursing council at the moment and I wonder if the person I'm emailing even speaks English sometimes...
I do wonder about job opportunities though. I understand the UK and NZ have a different way of studying that works for them. I'll just mention the UK as I work with a zillion people from there and have got my head around their system. They either study adults nursing, paeds nursing, psych or middy and generally (I can think of a few exceptions who did further study for another area) are only qualified to work in one of those areas. That works fine for the UK- most hospitals over there are in cities and in small towns the nearest urban area is never too far away. However here in Australia there are large amounts of rural areas with small hospitals where they really need staff to be jack of all trades- able to handle adults, kids, pregnant ladies, psych patients and anyone else who walks through the door basically, which is why we do a generalist BNurs degree which covers most of those areas excepts middy. (On a side note, it's interesting that we don't cover a bit of middy in the BNurs degree- we do all the rest.) I wonder how that will affect shortages in rural areas- where you're always hearing about how critical the shortages are etc, etc, etc. I've heard though in some very rural areas they fly you out at 36 weeks to deliver elsewhere, so that might be part of the reason...who knows. I'm just speculating really
As for me, I've been a RN for a good few years now and I plan on applying for postgrad in 2013, before they phase it out entirely