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The challenges facing midwifery educators in sustaining a future education workforce

Rosser, Elizabeth A.; Albarran, John; Girot, Elizabeth


Elizabeth A. Rosser

John Albarran

Elizabeth Girot


Background: national and international trends have identified concerns over the ability of health and social care workforces in meeting the needs of service users. Attention has increasingly been drawn to problems of recruiting and retaining professionals within higher education; however data in relation to the midwifery profession is scant. Aim: to examine the perceptions and experiences of midwifery educators, in south-west England, about the challenges facing them sustaining the education workforce of the future. Design: a mixed methodology approach was adopted involving heads of midwifery education and midwife educators. Methodology: midwifery participants were recruited from three higher education institutions in south west England. Data collection comprised of self-administered questionnaires plus individual qualitative interviews with heads of midwifery education (n=3), and tape recorded focus groups with midwife academics (n=19). Numerical data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Textual data were analysed for themes that represented the experiences and perspectives of participants. Ethics approval was granted by one University Ethics committee. Findings: demographic data suggests that within south-west England, there is a clear ageing population and few in possession of a doctorate within midwifery. The six identified sub-themes represented in the data describe challenges and tensions that midwifery academics experienced in their efforts to attract new recruits and retain those in post in a highly changing educational environment which demands more from a contracting workforce. Conclusion and implications for practice: there remain some serious challenges facing midwifery educators in sustaining the future education workforce, which if unresolved may jeopardise standards of education and quality of care women receive. Active succession planning and more radical approaches that embrace flexible careers will enable educational workforce to be sustained and by a clinically credible and scholarly orientated midwifery workforce. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Rosser, E. A., Albarran, J., & Girot, E. (2014). The challenges facing midwifery educators in sustaining a future education workforce. Midwifery, 30(8), 949-955.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Midwifery
Print ISSN 0266-6138
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 8
Pages 949-955
Keywords midwifery, educational workforce, mixed methods, recruitment of midwifery academics
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