The initiation of Dutch newly qualified hospital-based midwives in practice, a qualitative study

Liesbeth E. Kool*, Francois G. Schellevis, Debbie A.D.C. Jaarsma, Esther I. Feijen-De Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the Netherlands, a percentage of newly qualified midwives start work in maternity care as a hospital-based midwife, although prepared particularly for working autonomously in the community. Aim: This study aimed to explore newly qualified Dutch midwives' perceptions of their job demands and resources during their initiation to hospital-based practice. Design: We conducted a qualitative study with semi structured interviews using the Job Demands-Resources model as theoretical framework. Methods: Twenty-one newly qualified midwives working as hospital-based midwives in the Netherlands were interviewed individually between January and July 2018. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Findings: High workload, becoming a team member, learning additional medical procedures and job insecurity were perceived demands. Participants experienced the variety of the work, the teamwork, social support, working with women, and employment conditions as job resources. Openness for new experiences, sociability, calmness and accuracy were experienced as personal resources, and perfectionism, self-criticism, and fear of failure as personal demands. Conclusion: Initiation to hospital-based practice requires from newly qualified midwives adaptation to new tasks: working with women in medium and high-risk care, managing tasks, as well as often receiving training in additional medical skills. Sociability helps newly qualified midwives in becoming a member of a multidisciplinary team; neuroticism and perfectionism hinders them in their work. Clear expectations and a settling-in period may help newly qualified midwives to adapt to practice. The initiation phase could be better supported by preparing student midwives for working in a hospital setting and helping manage expectations about the settling-in period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102648
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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