Mobility of NT nurses and midwifes under the microscope 


The high turnover of nurses and midwives has been a feature of the Top End for many decades but has never been analysed, according to researchers from Charles Darwin University’s School for Social and Policy Research (SSPR).

Professor Stephen Garnett and Dr Kate Golebiowska will present “Causes and consequences of mobility among NT nurses and midwives”, on Friday, 18 April from 12pm to 1pm as a part of the ongoing SSPR seminar series.

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

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 were now leaving, Professor Garnett said.

“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,” he said.

“The long stayers, however, come because they become embedded in the society – they find partners, buy a house, and become better connected through various social networks.”

Professor Garnett and Dr Golebiowska also said they believed that nurses and midwives trained abroad possessed a special set of motivations.

“Among the many advantages in attracting people who will stay for longer than a few years are cost savings,” Dr Golebiowska said.

Professor Garnett and Dr Golebiowska were also able to quantify the economic costs of recruitment, training and other elements of turnover. The two 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 will take place in room 1, building 23 (C23.01/Blue 5.1.01), Casuarina campus at 12pm.