Aim To examine the employment experiences of older nurses and midwives working in the NHS.
Method A total of 27 semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with nurses and midwives to identify positive and negative aspects of their working lives in the NHS. The interviewees were selected from a potential pool of 87 nurses and midwives who had consented to be involved in an earlier part of the study. Data were analysed using QSR NVivo 7.0.
Findings Positive and negative issues were identified as having an impact on the quality of working life. These included: access to training, change and Agenda for Change (AfC), quality of management, work demands, patient/colleague contact and nursing and midwifery as a career.
Conclusion This study highlighted a number of issues relevant to older nurses and midwives that warrant further study and attention. These include access to training and continuing professional development, issues relating to change and AfC, and general work demands including workload, resources and morale. The ability of staff to remain healthy, committed and able to deliver quality care can be compromised in cases where the staff experience is negative.