Becoming and Being a Midwife: A Theoretical Analysis of Why Midwives Leave the Profession

Carol Cameron, RM

Since the introduction of the Ontario Midwifery Education Program in 1993, the attrition rate of midwives early (< six years) in their careers has been on the rise. The study aimed to develop an understanding of the reasons why graduate midwives leave the profession. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with nine former midwives, all graduates of the Ontario Midwifery Education Program. Interview transcripts were analyzed inductively, using the principles of grounded theory to identify conceptual categories, category properties and recurring themes. Key findings were validated by verification with participants. Three key categories emerged: 1) Becoming, 2) Being, and 3) Loss of Self. The implications of the findings of this study are useful to target areas which require more attention in order to reduce the loss of midwives in the province.

attrition, Ontario Midwifery Education Program, professional identity

This article has been peer-reviewed.


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