Call the Midwife Wiki

Pupil Midwife Janice Cowan is one of the four pupil midwives taking part two of their midwifery training at Nonnatus House. She was portrayed by Scarlett Courtney.


At the end of Series 9 the health board imposed an increased rent on Nonnatus House and decreased budget in the hopes that it would force them out of medical practice. However Nurse Trixie Franklin was able to deliver a speech that gave them an extra twelve months, to make money after that Sister Julienne attempted to ally with a private clinic that would pay generously but that clinic was found by Nurse Franklin to be doing illegal abortions and Sister Julienne terminated the partnership. Nurse Shelagh Turner suggested a training scheme for pupil midwives that would come with substantial funding for Nonnatus House.

Pupil Midwife Cowan arrived with her colleagues Georgette Baines and Alison Hopkiss for their first day, they met midwife who was living in Nonnatus House Nancy Corrigan. Janice was assigned to Sister Hilda and left on the district with her, judging by her accent and manner of speaking she is likely from a middle class family compared to her fellow pupil midwives. She is also shown to be quite conscientious as when asked what to do in the case of a postpartum haemorrhage she asked they establish the criterion for haemorrhage.

When Sister Hilda went away on a refresher course the pupils’ allocations were reshuffled and Janice was assigned to Nurse Anderson, Nurse Crane also lectured them on “personal daintiness” and directed them to deodorant cream. When at the clinic Janice informs patient Mrs Sands nothing was amiss with her urine test, Sister Julienne suggests she helps Miss Higgins at the desk but Janet realises she just wants to give the patient some privacy.

When Nurse Franklin was giving a class Nancy Corrigan was unsympathetic to mother Cherry Watson who lived in shocking poverty with an abusive husband trying to abort her baby. All of the pupils approached the situation with a very classroom based mind but Trixie was sympathetic. In response Trixie wrote a letter to the times on the subject of the up and coming abortion reform bill and was then asked to speak on the radio. The abortion reform bill was passed a year later so unlike Trixie it was unlikely Janice or her colleagues would have to face many if any backstreet abortions in her career.

After Trixie’s radio appearance Nancy Corrigan revealed herself to be an unmarried mother and was in danger of being kicked off the course but it was decided she could stay. During the 2021 Christmas Special Janice and the other pupil midwives were on leave over Christmas. Between the Christmas Special and Series 11 the training scheme ended, Janice took her final exams and likely passed and found work elsewhere as a midwife.