What is it about?

During an average working career, a nurse or midwife will traverse the age barrier, changing from a young worker to an older worker. This article reports the findings from a study exploring the phenomena surrounding the events during this transitional phase of their career from their perspective. Nurses and midwives were found to reach a time when they are no longer defined as a member of the younger working group but recategorised as older or mature and there was a noticeable challenge to their continued function in the workplace and a distinctive change in the attitude toward them from co-workers.

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Why is it important?

Given the challenges older nurse and midwife workforces are faced with internationally, it is important to look at the challenges from the older nurses and midwives' perspective, especially considering those ‘younger’ older nurses and midwives who are on an ageing trajectory will remain in the workforce for one or two decades to come. It has been identified that older nurses and midwives possess the knowledge and experience to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare therefore without an understanding of their workplace needs, they may be forced to leave taking years of knowledge with them.


I enjoyed speaking with many older nurses and mid wives during the course of this research and found their stories to be quite moving at time. Many shared times of frustration at not being able to deliver care at full physical capacity, others spoke of being ignored and overlooked. I hope you find reading their stories interesting.

Julie Denton
University of South Australia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Being an older nurse or midwife in the healthcare workplace– A qualitative descriptive study, Journal of Advanced Nursing, July 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/jan.14964.
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