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Career breaks and intentions for retirement by Queensland's nurses: A sign of the times?
journal contributionposted on 25.11.2019, 00:00 by RM Eley, D Parker, A Tuckett, Desley Hegney
Objective: In order to support policy planning, nurses in Queensland were surveyed three times over a 7-year period. Results from the study offered the opportunity to explore changes in work practices with respect to career breaks and retirement intentions. Design: A self-administered postal survey. Setting: Nurse members of the Queensland Nurses Union residing in the State of Queensland. Participants: 3000 members of the Queensland Nurses' Union. Main outcome measures: An overview of nurses' work practices in relation to breaks in work and planned retirement. Results: Response rates for 2001, 2004 and 2007 were 51%, 44.9% and 39.7%, respectively. Over the 7-year study period the number of nurses taking career breaks declined from 65% in 2001 to 54% in 2007. Of those nurses who reported taking breaks the number of breaks remained constant; however the average length of the breaks declined. Results reflected an ageing workforce. The expected time to remain in nursing increased dramatically for older nurses. Over 60% of 40-60-year-old nurses in 2007 expect to remain in nursing well into their mid-60s compared to 30% in the previous years. Conclusions: The dynamics of the nursing workforce have changed with nurses taking fewer and shorter breaks and expecting to work to a greater age. We speculate that these changes may be influenced by the economic climate. © 2009 Royal College of Nursing, Australia.