While there has been a reasonable amount of evidence and literature describing why nurses remain in nursing, there has been little known as to why midwives stay, particularly in Australia. This study investigated the reasons why midwives stay in midwifery in New South Wales and addressed the significant gaps in midwifery knowledge into this important area. The study was also a component of a larger study by the Centre for Health Services Management, which examined the retention of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
The particular aims of the Why Do Midwives Stay study were to:
- explore the reasons for midwives selecting a particular workplace, clinical setting or model of care;
- understand the reasons why midwives choose to stay in midwifery and in their current workplace;
- explore the issues that contribute to a high level of job satisfaction;
- explore the support system and coping mechanisms that are important to midwives and keep them in midwifery and in their workplace; and,
- better understand the factors that could be improved in the workplace to increase job satisfaction and improve retention.
Katie Sullivan (pictured) undertook this research in collaboration with staff from the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health as part of a Masters of Midwifery (Hons) degree.