SSPR seminar series 


Professor Stephen Garnett and Dr Kate Golebiowska present ‘Causes and consequences of mobility among NT nurses and midwives’, on Friday 18 April from 12pm to 1pm.

Professor Garnett and Dr Golebiowska will present findings from the first ever study of its kind into the turnover of nurses and midwives in the Northern Territory.

The high turnover of nurses and midwives has been a feature of the Territory for many decades but never analysed. Detailed analysis of a range of data sources shows that there has been a gradual increase in retention rates in recent years, but many older staff are now leaving. Also some employment sites have far higher turnover rates than others.

An exploration of the motivations of nurses and midwives to come to the Territory, to stay here or to leave shows that many of the short stayers come for adventure and new experiences in the tropics, or because of the financial rewards – and, with the restlessness of youth, leave soon afterwards. The long stayers, however, come because they become embedded in the society – they find partners, buy a house, become better connected through various social networks.

There is also a special set of motivations for those nurses and midwives trained abroad. Among the many advantages in attracting people who will stay for longer than a few years are cost savings.

Professor Garnett and Dr Golebiowska were able to quantify the economic costs of recruitment, training and other elements of turnover. While, surprisingly, they were lower than in some studies they were still substantial. Professor Garnett and Dr Golebiowska are now exploring with their colleagues in the health department the implications of this research for policies aiming to increase recruitment and maximise retention.

This seminar takes place in room 1, building 23 (C23.01/Blue 5.1.01), Casuarina campus, and will be video-conferenced through the library seminar room, Alice Springs campus.