Journal of Clinical Nursing
School of Nursing & Midwifery
Aims and objectives: To understand why Western Australian (WA) midwives choose to remain in the profession.
Background: Midwifery shortages and the inability to retain midwives in the midwifery profession is a global problem. The need for effective midwifery staff retention strategies to be implemented is therefore urgent, as is the need for evidence to inform those strategies.
Design: Glaserian grounded theory (GT) methodology was used with constant comparative analysis.
Methods: Fourteen midwives currently working clinically area were interviewed about why they remain in the profession. The GT process of constant comparative analysis resulted in an overarching core category emerging. The study is reported in accordance with Tong and associates’ (2007) Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ).
Results: The core category derived from the data was labelled—“I love being a midwife; it's who I am.” The three major categories that underpin the core category are labelled as follows: “The people I work with make all the difference”; “I want to be ‘with woman’ so I can make a difference”; and “I feel a responsibility to pass on my skills, knowledge and wisdom to the next generation.”
Conclusion: It emerged from the data that midwives’ ability to be “with woman” and the difference they feel they make to them, the people they work with and the opportunity to “grow” the next generation together underpin a compelling new middle‐range theory of the phenomenon of interest.
Relevance to clinical practice: The theory that emerged and the insights it provides will be of interest to healthcare leaders, who may wish to use it to help develop midwifery workforce policy and practice, and by extension to optimise midwives’ job satisfaction, and facilitate the retention of midwives both locally and across Australia.
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