A study of clinical dietetic workforce recruitment and retention in Queensland

Roger Hughes*, Kate Odgers-Jewell, Angela Vivanti, Maree Ferguson, Michael Leveritt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate factors influencing the recruitment and retention of the clinical dietetics workforce in metropolitan practice, with a focus on Queensland Health. Methods: A qualitative study using semistructured telephone and face-to-face interviews among a purposively recruited sample of 28 Queensland clinical dietitians. The interviews explored factors affecting recruitment and retention, job satisfaction and possible strategies for the recruitment and retention of hospital-based dietitians within Queensland Health was conducted. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and content analysed by two researchers (authors 1 & 2) before comparing, confirming, describing and interpreting themes identified. Results: All but two of the interviewees (26/28) were either existing (n = 16) or previous (n = 10) employees of Queensland Health. The demographic attributes of the sample reflected the broader Australian dietetic workforce. Factors effecting recruitment to current positions were the position itself, the closeness of the position to home and job security associated with Queensland Health positions. The most common factors assisting retention in Queensland Health were the team collegiality, opportunities, and the closeness to home of the workplace and professional development opportunities. The negatives of employment were high work demands or workload and bureaucratic frustrations within Queensland Health. Increasing remuneration rates, career pathways and increasing the flexibility of work hours were strategies considered as most important for Queensland Health to enhance clinician recruitment and retention. Conclusion: Factors effecting recruitment and retention of clinical dietitians are largely amenable to human resource and organisational management strategies that address these determinants of staff turnover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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