Supporting New Zealand graduate midwives to stay in the profession: An evaluation of the Midwifery First Year of Practice programme

Lesley Dixon, Susan Calvert, Emma Tumilty, Mary Kensington, Elaine Gray, Sue Lennox, Norma Campbell, Sally Pairman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: the transition from undergraduate midwifery student to working as a confident midwife can be challenging for many newly qualified midwives. Supporting a smooth transition may have a positive impact on the confidence and retention of the new graduates within the workforce. In New Zealand the Midwifery First Year of Practice programme (MFYP) was introduced in 2007 as a structured programme of support for new graduate midwives for the whole of their first year of practice. The main components of the programme include support during clinical practice, provision of a funded mentor midwife chosen by the new graduate midwife, financial assistance for education and a requirement to undertake a quality assessment and reflection process at the end of the first year. Aim: the aim of this study was to explore the retention of new graduates in midwifery practice following participation in the Midwifery First Year of Practice programme. Method: data was obtained from the register of MFYP participants between the years 2007 and 2010. This data was cross referenced with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand register and workforce data for 2012. Findings: between the years 2007 and 2010 there were 441 midwives who graduated from a midwifery pre-registration education programme in New Zealand. Of these 415 participated in the MFYP programme. The majority were of New Zealand European ethnicity with 10% identifying as Māori. The mean age of participants reduced from 36.4 (SD 7.3) in 2007 to 33.4 (SD 8.1) in 2010. The overall retention rate for new graduate midwives who had participated in the MFYP programme was 86.3%, with 358 midwives still practising in 2012. Conclusion: there is good retention of new graduate midwives within New Zealand and the MFYP programme would appear to support retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Graduate midwife
  • Mentor
  • Reflection
  • Retention
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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