Regional differences among employed nurses: a Queensland study

Henwood, Tim and Eley, Robert and Parker, Deborah and Tuckett, Anthony and Hegney, Desley (2009) Regional differences among employed nurses: a Queensland study. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 17 (4). pp. 201-207. ISSN 1038-5282

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Objective: To ascertain differences in the working lives of geographically dispersed nurses.

Design: cross sectional.

Setting: Registered, enrolled and assistants-in-nursing members of the Queensland Nurses’ Union employed in nursing in Queensland, Australia.

Participants: 3000 members of the Union, equally stratified by sector (public, private, aged care). 1192 responded and 1039 suppled postcodes matching the Australian Standard Geographical Classification.

Main outcome measures(s): Statistically significant differences in working lives of nurses employed in different geographical locations.

Results: Nurses in outer regional/remote/very remote localities are more likely to be employed as permanent full-time staff and self-report higher levels of work stress. These levels could be explained by: lack of replacement staff for leave; longer working and on-call hours; and lack of support for new staff. Distance remains a major barrier to accessing continuing professional education. However, outer regional/remote/very remote nurses were more likely to be provided employer support for professional education. Inner regional nurses were more likely to work part-time and would work more hours if offered. They were more likely to have taken a break from nursing due to family commitments.
Conclusions: The data confirm that current policies are not addressing the differences in the working lives of geographically dispersed nurses. Policies addressing orientation, mentoring and workloads should be implemented to address these issues.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2009 11:11
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2016 01:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: nursing; regional; rural; remote; working lives; health care policy; job stress; medical staff
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150311 Organisational Behaviour
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350710 Organisational behaviour
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520104 Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing
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