Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The experiences of midwives who transition work settings: A qualitative descriptive study

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posted on 2021-12-07, 11:54 authored by Welfare, Melanie Patricia

This research explores the experiences of midwives as they transition work settings. It has been found that these experiences are both positive and negative. Midwives relish working with women in a capacity that brings them joy and sustains them within the profession. They achieve this with the valued support of their families, practice partners and colleagues. However, there are numerous stressors on midwives including financial, emotional, physical, family commitments, bullying and work demands, which impact on the ability of the midwife to fulfil these obligations. This dissonance leads to increased levels of stress and fatigue and in order to manage this, the midwives who participated in this research appear to transition work settings.  By analysing the lived experiences of nine midwives in Aotearoa/New Zealand who have transitioned work settings between core and LMC (or vice versa) in the previous two years, I have explored the research question ‘What are the experiences of midwives who transition work settings?’ using a qualitative descriptive research framework. Face to face interviews were conducted with midwives around the South Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand using semi-structures interview questions, followed by transcription and thematic analysis. Four main themes emerged, ideal midwife, movement happens, support and obstruction and things have changed. The themes and subthemes are discussed in depth through this work and literature used to support the discourse.  The main finding was that transitioning work-settings is a way of remaining professionally and personally sustained in the current system of maternity care in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Other findings were that support from family, colleagues and managers, as well as the relationships with the women, are imperative for midwives in either work setting to remain sustainable. That the lack of support, bullying, harassment, poor remuneration and family commitments, are stressors that impact on the working lives of midwives and contribute to their decisions to transition work settings. There are implications from this research for midwives, DHB, workforce planning, educators and the wider profession.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Health Care

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Maude, Robyn