Transitional experiences of internationally qualified midwives practising in Australia – An E-survey

Mitra Javanmard, Mary Steen, Rachael Vernon, Megan Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background. Midwifery is an internationally mobile profession, but there is a lack of research investigating the experiences of internationally qualified midwives practising in Australia. Aim. To investigate the experiences of internationally qualified midwives integrating into the Australian midwifery system. Methods. Phase one of a two-phased sequential explanatory mixed methods study included an e-survey of 66 internationally qualified midwives who were recruited via a non-probability purposive sampling strategy. Ethical approval. This study was approved by the University of South Australia Human Research Ethics Committee (protocol number: 0000036397). Findings. Almost all of the respondents (n=62; 94%) reported diversity in midwifery practices and 51 (77%) reported diversity in the work-based culture between their country of midwifery qualification and Australia. Forty-nine (74%) internationally qualified midwives felt they received adequate support at their workplace and 52 (79%) reported that they experienced respect from women they had cared for. Over half of the respondents (n=41; 62%) perceived inequity of opportunity, and a sixth of respondents (n=11; 17%) felt discriminated against in the Australian midwifery workforce. Conclusion. This study, while limited in scope, provides insight into specific challenges experienced by internationally qualified midwives and may better inform approaches to support future transition into the Australian multicultural midwifery workforce. Diversity in midwifery practice and work-based culture, as well as the possibility of experience of discrimination and inequity of opportunity can influence negatively on future internationally qualified midwives’ professional lives. Implications. Understanding the challenges that internationally qualified midwives confront in Australia and enhancing strategies to provide a smooth transition for IQMs are necessary. A supportive work environment is critical to ensure that diversity is valued, and internationally qualified midwives are provided equal opportunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjustment
  • Evidence-based midwifery
  • Internationally qualified midwives
  • Transitional experiences


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