Finding a way: The experiences of UK educated midwives finding their place in the midwifery workforce in Australia
Background the number of midwives and nurses migrating from the United Kingdom (UK) and seeking registration in Australia is growing annually. Studies examining nurse migration have yet to identify features of the experience that apply specifically to the midwifery workforce. This information is vital to inform future international recruitment practice and to promote midwifery retention. This paper reports on a study examining the experiences of a group of midwives from the United Kingdom settling into the workforce within one state in Australia. Design this descriptive phenomenological study examined the lived experience of UK migrant midwives practising in Queensland using open ended interviews and reflective journaling. Data analysis was conducted following the guidance of Moustakas, adapted from the van Kaam method of analysis of phenomenological data. Setting all data gathered from midwives living and working in Queensland. Participants midwives (n=18) working in Queensland who had left the UK after 1 January 2000. Findings a central theme emerging from participants' experiences is described as 'finding a way'. Their experience was encompassed in a model of acculturation used by the midwives to find their way through the health-care systems in Queensland to be the kind of midwife that suited them and their life style. The three ways of being were influential association, capitulation and detachment. The most common feature of the experience was that of influential association. Key conclusions midwives need to be well informed to provide realistic expectations prior to migration. Recruitment and management personnel should seek to match midwifery capacity with roles where their skills will be maximised.