A pathway to a healthier you

Late career and retirement

At some point in towards the end of our career as nurses and midwives, we may realise that our work in a physically demanding healthcare environment is taking its toll.  

We can experience fatigue, physical changes or feelings of being undervalued in the physically demanding healthcare environment which may impact on their working lives  

Work out what comes next 

Some of us are just want more work-life flexibility in the latter stage of our careers. Others are keen to make the transition to retirement. 

Your decision may be based on your age or health, for family, to take up other opportunities, or because you feel burnt-out or stressed. So how do you take your knowledge, and a lifetime of caring for others into a new phase of your life full of meaning? 

Understand what you are going through 

Research shows that as we consider, prepare for and move into retirement we move through important psychological shifts. That holds especially true for workers who identify strongly with their job and organisation (ref).  

Nursing and midwifery is such a large part of our identity both at work, at home and in the wider community. We might quote the adage “once a nurse, always a nurse” while experiencing a sense of loss of identity, community, routine and more as we transition out of the profession.  

Acknowledging the contribution you’ve made, including the passing on of valuable skills to the next generation during your working life, can bring a sense of achievement. 

On the flip side, retirement can bring on stress, anxiety and depression while nurses and midwives face new challenges. Planning is the key to success to making the right decisions for you. 

Bring new focus to your life 

Make retirement is a time for you.

It is important to remain active, eat healthy food, manage your finances, spend time with family and friends, get enough sleep, and reduce any stress at this career transition. Taking on new challenges as well as seeking opportunities to continue to learn, grow, and give back. 

Tired? Stressed?

No longer coping with your workload? Talk to us about your next step. 

55-70 years of age

Late career is generally defined as the life stage around 55-70 years of age. 

2 of 5
suffered from some form of pain, most commonly in their back or feet
4 of 5
suffered increased fatigue or interrupted sleep patterns
My goal in the latter part of my career is to help the next generation of midwives come through and continue in their career as long as I have 
Victorian midwife of 25 years
We have had nurses who have been working with us for more than 30 years, which is quite remarkable. We want to support them to use their experience and knowledge to help to develop and mentor our early career nurses and midwives
Queensland Nurse Unit Manager

Signs and symptoms

Be aware of: 

  • musculoskeletal changes 
  • pain 
  • metabolic conditions 
  • memory changes 
  • sensory changes 
  • These and more may affect the ability of some older nurses and midwives to perform to their best. 

We suggest: 

  • GP checks 
  • explain how you are feeling to your manager 
  • talk to a friend or family member 
  • exercise regularly
  • refer to other health professionals 
  • eat well
  • consider a sleep routine 
  • talk about your transition to retirement with your super fund