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Source: Massey University

Massey University’s School of Nursing has been ranked in the top 101 to 150 universities in the latest QS World University Rankings.

Head of the School of Nursing, Professor Nicolette Sheridan (Ngāpuhi) says international rankings are important to the school’s key stakeholders, students, staff, and external partners to demonstrate the school’s improved performance.

“These measures of ‘reputation and research,’ are a reflection of the College of Health’s strong commitment to research excellence,” Professor Sheridan says. “Staff in the School of Nursing are passionate about making a difference to the wellbeing of New Zealand populations and to communities beyond our shores – their academic citizenship counts when measuring reputation.” 

Associate Professor Karen Hoare, a Nurse Practitioner, leads the postgraduate nursing programme. She has published extensively in child health and is a strong advocate for the rights of tamariki and rangatahi, especially in respect of their right to have a voice on matters that affect their health and wellbeing.

Dr Claire Minton leads the Bachelor of Nursing programme and has collaborations in New Zealand and Australia on research that addresses the ‘fundamentals of care’ in nursing practice. She is especially interested in the care of complex critically ill patients and their whānau.

Professor Jenny Carryer (CNZM) has made a longstanding contribution to research into long-term conditions, primary health care nursing, workforce development and the Nurse Practitioner role. Associate Professor Clare Harvey, who recently joined the staff, brings additional international research experience and projects in nursing workforce, professional practice and patient outcomes. 

Professor Sheridan has secured $1.3 million in funding from the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council for a study titled ‘Evidence to guide investment in a model of primary care for all’ with researchers from five universities – Massey, Auckland, Otago, Cambridge (UK), the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) as well as other non-government organisations. This research into the effectiveness of primary care is already revealing considerable differences in healthcare provision around the country.

Supporting emerging researchers, such as Dr Andrea Donaldson (Ngāti Maniapoto), Dr Bernadette Solomon and Philip Ferris-Day to build their research in mental health while developing curriculum and teaching is a priority for the School of Nursing. Dr Jennifer Roberts has just been awarded her PhD which contributes new knowledge on the position of cultural safety as a critical concept in nursing education and practice.

Professor Sheridan says, the school has a strong strategic focus on research in primary health care and mental health, recognizing that care must always be culturally safe.

“Nursing has access to the broader expertise of colleagues within the College of Health, in the research centres for Public Health and Māori Health Development, and SHORE and Whāriki, and across a wide range of disciplines, such as, nutrition, public health, sport and exercise, science and social work.

“Professor Carol Wham, a public health nutritionist with an international reputation, works across longitudinal studies and in hospital, residential care, and community settings to help inform policy, practice and curriculum development. Future research possibilities are limitless – it’s a really exciting time to be working at Massey.”

She says nursing requires a focus not only on the health of individuals, but also on the health of communities. Massey University, she says, “has extraordinary researchers who are trans-disciplinary, value kaupapa Māori research methodology, and research in the broader socio-ecological environment to improve health outcomes. Te Pūtahi-a-Toi – School of Māori Knowledge provides an academic focus for Māori cultural development in all nursing programmes and research.”

“The Office of Pasifika Student Success is also leading change and building success within education and research. The School of Nursing benefits from working with talented indigenous and Pasifika colleagues, and many other academic and professional staff who are socially responsible – a value embedded within the University from the highest levels where investment in research has targeted societal ‘wicked problems’.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic the School developed two critical care courses that were delivered online to more than 100 nurses in New Zealand and in Samoa. In addition, third year nursing students, working from home during lockdown, undertook more than 3000 interRAI health contact assessments by telephone with older adults in three district health boards. “Dr Kerri-Ann Hughes coordinated this fantastic effort and both students and staff rose to the challenge,” Professor Sheridan says.

Students were supervised by registered nurses (Clinical Teaching Associates) who usually work with them face-to-face in hospital or other health settings. Staff member Monina Hernandez, a clinical nurse specialist, has been seconded to work with Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities because of her knowledge and leadership in infection control.

The school also launched the Master of Clinical Practice in June 2020. This two-year graduate entry into nursing practice degree uses a blended learning approach with block courses taught on campus, and clinical placements in a range of health care settings. Dr Rhonda McKelvie, who leads this new programme, awarded a number of scholarships to students.

Moving to an online environment during COVID-19 presented opportunities to showcase how online learning could be fun in the Bachelor of Nursing, one of Massey’s largest undergraduate degrees that runs on three campuses – Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington. With the help of Batman’s superpower, humour was introduced into classes teaching health assessment and led to the teaching team, comprised of Marla Burrow, Jenny Green, Shelley van der Krogt and Camille Manning,  winning the 2020 ASCILITE teaching innovation award.

Over the last 12 months the School has invested in upgrades to on-campus nursing simulation labs on the Wellington and Manawatū campuses. Two brand new state-of-the-art facilities with two-way observation space and high-fidelity manikins were launched providing nursing students with an interactive learning experience in safe, simulated clinical environment. The programme aims to produce work-ready graduates that have the knowledge and skills sought after by employers.

“We succeed because we are a dedicated clinical education team of experienced nurses and Nurse Practitioners, and a pharmacist and we integrate necessary knowledge from other disciplines,” Professor Sheridan says.

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