A snapshot of Australian primary health care nursing workforce characteristics and reasons they work in these settings: A longitudinal retrospective study

Van N.B. Nguyen, Gabrielle Brand, Shanthi Gardiner, Samantha Moses, Lisa Collison, Ken Griffin, Julia Morphet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Aim: This article aimed to provide a snapshot of demographics and professional characteristics of nursing and midwifery workforce in Australian primary health care (PHC) settings during 2015–2019 and factors that influenced their decisions to work in PHC. Design: Longitudinal retrospective survey. Methods: Longitudinal data that were collected from a descriptive workforce survey were retrieved retrospectively. After collation and cleaning, data from 7066 participants were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS version 27.0. Results: The majority of the participants were female, aged between 45 and 64 years old and working in general practice. There was a small yet steady increase in the number of participants in the 25–34 age group and a downward trend in the percentage of postgraduate study completion among participants. While factors perceived most/least important to their decision to work in PHC were consistent during 2015–2019, these factors differed among different age groups and postgraduate qualification holders. This study’s findings are both novel and supported by previous research. It is necessary to tailor recruitment and retention strategies to nurses/midwives’ age groups and qualifications to attract and retain highly skilled and qualified nursing and midwifery workforce in PHC settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5462-5475
Number of pages14
JournalNursing Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Australia
  • longitudinal study
  • nursing
  • primary health care
  • workforce

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