Career plans of primary care midwives in the Netherlands and their intentions to leave the current job
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BACKGROUND: In labour market policy and planning, it is important to understand the motivations of people to continue in their current job or to seek other employment. Over the last decade, besides the increasingly medical approach to pregnancy and childbirth and decreasing home births, there were additional dramatic changes and pressures on primary care midwives and midwifery care. Therefore, it is important to re-evaluate the career plans of primary care midwives and their intentions to leave their current job. METHODS: All 108 primary care midwives of 20 selected midwifery care practices in the Netherlands were invited to fill out a written questionnaire with questions regarding career plans and intentions to leave. Bivariate analyses were carried out to compare career plans and work-related and personal characteristics and attitudes towards work among the group of midwives who indicated that they intended to leave their current job (ITL group) and those who indicated they had no intention to leave (NITL group). Significant predictors of ITL were included in the multiple binary logistic regression with 'intention to leave' as the dependent variable. RESULTS: In 2010, 32.7% of the 98 participating primary care midwives surveyed had considered an intention to leave their current type of job in the past year. Fewer ITL midwives wanted to be a self-employed practitioner with the full range of primary care tasks and work full-time. Significant predictors of the primary care midwives' intention to leave included a lower overall score on the job satisfaction scale (OR = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.06-0.58; p = 0.004) and being between 30 and 45 years old (OR = 2.69; 95% CI = 1.04-7.0; p = 0.041). CONCLUSION: Our study shows that, despite significant changes in the reproductive, maternal and newborn health service delivery that impact on independent midwifery practice, the majority of primary care midwives intended to stay in primary care. The absence of job satisfaction, and being in the age group between 30 and 45 years old, is associated with primary care midwives' intention to leave their current job. Ongoing monitoring will be important in the future.
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