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Original Research

Post-retirement intentions of nurses and midwives living and working in the Northern Territory of Australia

Submitted: 6 November 2012
Revised: 10 December 2013
Accepted: 30 January 2014
Published: 22 September 2014

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Author(s) : Voit K, Carson DB.

Katharina VoitDean Carson

Citation: Voit K, Carson DB.  Post-retirement intentions of nurses and midwives living and working in the Northern Territory of Australia. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2014; 14: 2399. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=2399 (Accessed 17 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Previous research undertaken in the Northern Territory of Australia has identified interest among nurses in engaging in the active workforce post-retirement. Relatively little is known about which nurses are interested in such engagement, and the types of work arrangements that might be of interest. This study aims to provide an enhanced understanding of the retirement plans and post-retirement employment intentions of nurses and midwives living and working in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.
Methods:  An online survey was developed to examine retirement intentions, and investigate the types and facilitators significant for post-retirement engagement.
Results:  The results indicated a strong interest among nurses and midwives in engaging in post-retirement work, with 73.2% of respondents (n=207) having considered continuing in the active workforce. The most preferred types of engagement included the gradual reduction of hours in current workplaces, part-year or seasonal employment, short-term placements, job-sharing or job-rotation, mentoring, research and policy development or acting as ‘Northern Territory representatives’ promoting jobs to prospective nurses and midwives elsewhere in Australia. A range of facilitators for post-retirement engagement was found, including for nurses who had not currently considered such engagement. The data collected from this research also identified barriers to post-retirement employment. The most favoured facilitators were financial incentives (90.0% of respondents identified it as a facilitator for post-retirement engagement), followed by support from line management (82.0%). Regardless of whether they had considered engaging post-retirement, the largest proportion of respondents intended to leave the NT for the time of their retirement (33.7%). The most prominent barrier to post-retirement engagement was that only a smaller proportion intended to retire in the NT (24.1%). Importantly, many nurses who had not currently considered post-retirement engagement were interested in some of the opportunities listed in the survey, and may therefore be tempted to consider continued engagement in the future.
Conclusions:  This study has provided an enhanced understanding of the retirement intentions of nurses and midwives living and working in the NT, and the significant types and facilitators of post-retirement engagement. The barriers arising from the inability of workplaces to cater to the needs of older workers potentially continuing their employment post-retirement are consistent with previous research. The types and facilitators of engagement presented in this study might assist in overcoming these barriers.

Key words: Australia, Northern Territory, nursing and midwifery, post-retirement employment, retirement intentions, workforce ageing.

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