Rural Health Workforce

Research Overview

Rural areas in Australia and the Western world struggle to recruit and retain a health workforce equipped to meet the needs of rural residents. This research stream investigates the recruitment and retention of the rural workforce as well as the training of rural health professionals. The work of this research group focuses on four areas that investigate the training of the future workforce as well as the workforce needs and related issues:

  • Medical education in rural areas
  • Nursing and allied health training in rural areas
  • Workforce needs in northern Victoria
  • Recruitment to, and retention of, rural health professionals in rural areas


Prof. Julian Wright

Rebecca Caygill

Ms Kaye Ervin

Prof. Lisa Bourke

Dr Tegan Podubinski


Australian Government Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program.

Research Publications

Cosgrave, C., Malatzky, C., & Gillespie, J. (2019) Social determinants of rural health workforce retention: A scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(3) 314.

Cosgrave, C., Maple, M., & Hussain, R. (2018). An explanation of turnover intention among early-career nursing and allied health professionals working in rural and remote Australia - findings from a grounded theory study.. Rural and Remote Health, 18(3), 4511. doi:10.22605/RRH4511

Cosgrave, C., Maple, M., & Hussain, R. (2018). Work challenges negatively affecting the job satisfaction of early career community mental health professionals working in rural Australia: findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 13(3), 173-186. doi:10.1108/JMHTEP-02-2017-0008

Caygill, R., Peardon, M., Waite, C., & Wright, J. (2017). Comparing a longitudinal integrated clerkship with traditional hospital-based rotations in a rural setting. Medical Teacher, 39(5), 520-526. doi:10.1080/0142159X.2017.1297893

Caygill, R., Peardon, M., Waite, C., McIntyre, I., Bradley, D., & Wright, J. (2017). Attitudes towards peer review of teaching in medical education. Focus on health professional education – A multidisciplinary journal, 18(2), 47-60. doi:10.11157/fohpe.v18i2.224

Cosgrave, C., Maple, M., & Hussain, R. (2017). Factors affecting job satisfaction of Aboriginal mental health workers working in community mental health in rural and remote New South Wales. Australian health review, 41(6), 707-711. doi:10.1071/AH16128

Malcolm, H. (2016). Towards medical practice - a mindful journey. In J. Sellers, & B. Moss (Eds.), Learning with the Labyrinth Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education (first ed., pp. 110-117). England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ervin, K., Currie, F., Nielsen, G., & Koschel, A. (2016). The value of a rural isolated practice endorsed registered nurse in a small rural health service. Research in Health Science, 1(1). doi:10.22158/rhs.v1n1p58

Pierce, D., Little, F., Bennett-Levy, J., Isaacs, A. N., Bridgman, H., Lutkin, S. J., . . . Martinez, L. A. (2016). Mental health academics in rural and remote Australia. Rural and remote health, 16(3), 11 pages. Retrieved from

Wakerman, J., Humphreys, J., Bourke, L., Dunbar, T., Jones, M., Carey, T., . . . Murakami-Gold, L. (2016). Assessing the Impact and Cost of Short-Term Health Workforce in Remote Indigenous Communities in Australia: A Mixed Methods Study Protocol. JMIR research protocols, 5(4), 8 pages. doi:10.2196/resprot.5831

Research Projects

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Director, UDRH Professor Lisa Bourke

Department / Centre

Rural Health

Unit / Centre

Rural Health Workforce

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