Health professional student placements and workforce location outcomes: Protocol of an observational cohort study

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    Background: The successful recruitment and retention of health professionals to rural and remote areas of Australia is a health policy priority. Nursing or allied health professional students' learning placements in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia, most of which is considered remote, may influence rural or remote work location decisions. Objective: The aim of this study is to determine where allied health professionals and nurses who have had a student placement in the NT of Australia end up practicing. Methods: This research is an observational cohort study, with data collection occurring at baseline and then repeated annually over 10 years (ie, 2017-2018 to 2029). The baseline data collection includes a demographic profile of allied health and nursing students and their evaluations of their NT placements using a nationally consistent questionnaire (ie, the Student Satisfaction Survey). The Work Location Survey, which will be administered annually, will track work location and the influences on work location decisions. Results: This study will generate unique data on the remote and rural work locations of nursing and allied health professional students who had a placement in the NT of Australia. It will be able to determine what are the most important characteristics of those who take up remote and rural employment, even if outside of the NT, and to identify barriers to remote employment. Conclusions: This study will add knowledge to the literature regarding rates of allied health and nursing professionals working in remote or rural settings following remote or rural learning placements. The results will be of interest to government and remote health workforce planners.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere21832
    Number of pages9
    JournalJMIR Research Protocols
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


    • Allied health
    • Allied health professionals
    • Northern Territory of Australia
    • Nursing
    • Remote health
    • Rural
    • Rural employment
    • Students
    • Training
    • Workforce
    • Workforce location
    • Workforce retention


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