Background: Approximately 13% of the total Australian midwifery workforce is internationally qualified. Although the internationally qualified midwives (IQMs) play a significant role in the Australian midwifery system, there is limited understanding of their transitional experiences. Objective: The objective of this study protocol is to explore the transitional experiences and views of IQMs practicing in Australia, through the investigation of demographic profiles and key challenges that influence a smooth transition. Methods: This paper presents an explanatory sequential mixed methods study protocol. This protocol incorporates an e-survey and individual interviews. The e-survey in the first phase will be distributed to IQMs in Australia via the website e-bulletins of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the Australian College of Midwives. Additionally, potential respondents will be recruited via social media (ie, Twitter and Facebook) and associated snowball sampling. Data from the e-survey will be statistically analyzed. At the end of the e-survey, respondents will be asked whether they are willing to take part in an interview. The results of the e-survey and relevant literature review will help to develop a guideline for interview questions for the second phase. In phase two, a purposeful sample of participants will be recruited using the same selection criteria as for the e-survey. Semistructured interviews will provide a deeper insight into the transitional experiences of IQMs. Data from the interviews will then be thematically analyzed. Results: An integration of the e-survey results (phase one) and interview findings (phase two) will be synthesized to explore and better understand the transitional experiences of this group of midwives. It is anticipated that data collection and analysis will be completed by June 2019 and results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications in late 2019. Conclusions: This research protocol may generate new knowledge about the transition of IQMs in Australia. These findings could be used to formulate recommendations to inform the transition of future IQMs in Australia.
- Internationally qualified midwives