An in-depth study of Australian nurses' and midwives' work-life interaction

Natalie J. Skinner, Paul van Dijk, Jude Elton, Jocelyn Auer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Nursing and midwifery are priority professions for which there are current and future (projected) workforce shortages. This study takes a work-life perspective to examine the key workplace factors that impact on retention and well-being. Two qualitative studies are described. Study 1 explores the meaning of work-life interaction for these professionals, to inform the focus and emphasis of policy and practice initiatives. Study 2 presents an in-depth examination of five key issues: work scheduling, workload, accessing leave, child-care and casual work. It was clear that nursing and midwifery was a significant source of meaning, purpose and satisfaction in workers' lives. However, the potential for high levels of work-life conflict and negative spillover of stress into non-work-life was very evident. The paper concludes with a summary of recommendations to improve administrative, procedural and cultural aspects of nursing and midwifery work to support and enhance work-life interaction and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-232
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • midwifery
  • nursing
  • organisational policy
  • well-being
  • work-life interaction


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