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The experience of the double-degree nurse midwife in their transition to clinical practice

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posted on 2022-09-20, 03:41 authored by HM Donovan
Dual degree nurse midwives graduate with a broader scope of practice which is welcomed and valued across a wide variety of health care settings. Transition to practice experiences for these beginning health practitioners reflect the breadth of their practice capabilities and are directly dependent on their roles and responsibilities as a nurse and a midwife, the support available to them and organisational expectations for autonomous practice. While literature exists that examines the transition to practice experiences of nurses and midwives, no literature was located for this study that explored the transition to practice experiences of dual degree graduate nurse midwives. As a result, the aim of this research project was to describe the transition to practice experiences of Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery graduates working in a variety of health care settings across Australia as beginning health care practitioners. Face to face interviews were undertaken using a Husserlian Descriptive Phenomenological approach. Twenty-three graduate double degree nurse midwives employed as both nurses and midwives in a variety of health care settings across Australia described their transition to practice experiences. Four core themes emerged: A need to feel safe; A need to feel a sense of valued belonging; The path to exhaustion and work-life imbalance; and The daunting world of autonomous practice. Recommendations from this study include the need for graduates who are transitioning into more than one discipline to be acknowledged for their expanded scope of practice and be supported accordingly. This support needs to be context specific, holistic and include rostering and shift-work expectations that enable a satisfactory work-life balance.



Central Queensland University

Additional Rights

Author retains copyright, thesis made freely available for the purpose of research or private study.

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Dr Anthony Welch ; Associate Professor Dr Moira Williamson

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis

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