Why Do Midwives Stay? A Descriptive Study of Retention in Ontario Midwives

Nicole Versaevel BSW, BHSc, MSc

This descriptive, exploratory study was designed to examine why Ontario midwives stay in clinical practice. All registered midwives in the province were invited to complete a Web based survey and a response rate of 37% was ascertained. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data while inductive content analysis was employed to analyze qualitative data. Midwives enjoy their work and are highly committed to the profession. Relationships with clients and making a difference through their work are key factors in retention. Midwives report that autonomy in their work is another mediator of job satisfaction. Important support mechanisms for midwives include: relationships with their partner, colleagues and family. Barriers faced in clinical practice include: the need for greater flexibility in working patterns, as well as, conflict with hospitals with midwifery and/or non-midwifery colleagues. These findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are offered.

midwife, midwifery, retention, job satisfaction, attrition, Ontario

This article has been peer-reviewed.


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