Otago Polytechnic

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Cynthia van Ammers
Lecturer Cynthia.vanAmmers@op.ac.nz

Kerry Davis
Lecturer Kerry.Davis@op.ac.nz

Sharon Buchanan-Letts
Technician Sharon.BuchananLetts@op.ac.nz


MichelleWassell S
Michelle Wassell
Administrator Michelle.Wassell@op.ac.nz

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  Sherie Bell
School Operations Coordinator Sherie.Bell@op.ac.nz

Sherie has been with the School of Nursing staff since January 2015. She has worked in administration and finance for more than ten years in both Dunedin and the Gold Coast. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Business.

Head of Department

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  Ian Crabtree
Head of School ian.crabtree@op.ac.nz

Ian is the Head of School and has been in post since November 2016. Ian is a UK trained nurse in both adult and children's nursing. He has spent the last 30 years predominantly working in the field of paediatrics within the NHS and his last two clinical posts were Head of Nursing at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and latterly Leeds Children's Hospital. Ian has worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer/Practitioner at a number of Higher Education Institutions - University of Central Lancashire, University of Salford and University of Manchester where he undertook his MSc in Clinical Nursing graduating in 2005. He latterly before moving to New Zealand contributed to Child Health Nursing at the University of Leeds whilst working at Leeds Children's Hospital. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2015 Ian facilitated a Leadership and Management Course for Qualified Thai Nurses here at Otago Polytechnic and before taking up his current position was Service Manager at SDHB within the Adult Surgery Directorate.

Publications and Research

Crabtree, I., Owen, S., Shaw, J. & West, R. (2018) What are the main challenges you see as educators in meeting the learning needs of diverse students or staff, and what can we do to support learners for practice, now and in the future? Panel discussion at the 17th National Nurse Education Conference, May, Melbourne. Panel discussion was for 50 minutes with 10 minutes of Q&A.

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  Sherry Lilley
Associate Head of School Sherry.Lilley@op.ac.nz

Sherry is the Associate Head of School at the School of Nursing and has been working at Otago Polytechnic since 2001. She is a Registered Nurse and holds a BN, PG Dip in Tertiary Teaching (endorsed in Clinical) and a MHeaSC (Merit). Her Master's research was based around mentoring and student learning.

Publications and Research

Lilley, S. & Walton, S. (2010) Workforce Preparation: Transition to Work Place Reality 15th South Pacific Nurses Forum , Aotea Centre, Auckland. 8-11 November 1 hour presentation.

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Anna Askerud
Senior Lecturer Anna.Askerud@op.ac.nz

Barbara Lowen
Principal Lecturer Barbara.Lowen@op.ac.nz

  Chelsea Gannon-Willmott
Lecturer Chelsea.Willmott@op.ac.nz

Hi everyone,

My name is Chelsea and I am a nursing lecture and course coordinator, a locum emergency & trauma nurse, an academic and am currently completing my nurse practitioner training through Otago University.

For most of my career, I have moved between working in large emergency and trauma units and working within the rural emergency and after-hours context. My nursing role has enabled me to work not only in New Zealand, but also the United States, the UK and Australia. I am very passionate about nursing, and simply love the diversity and challenges that the role brings, especially to the rural context. At present, I work between Central Otago (which is home) and Dunedin's School of Nursing.

To date, my research has been centred on workplace culture/dynamics, horizontal violence, new graduates and coping and longevity/job satisfaction in nursing within the rural healthcare context.

Above all, I thoroughly enjoy providing thought provoking dialogue that helps people reflect and develop and look at the crumbs under the carpet! I look forward to working with you all soon, and helping you along your nursing journey.


Publications and Research

Gannon-Willmott, C. (2018) The Doctor Nurse Game. Have we got it right or are we playing charades. National Rural Health Conference in Auckland 5th to 8th April 2018.

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Chris Hendry
Senior Lecturer Chris.Hendry@op.ac.nz

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  Cynthia Leigh Mullens
Senior Lecturer Cynthia.Mullens@op.ac.nz

Year 3 Mental Health and Sociology for Nurses Coordinator
Cindy obtained her Diploma of Nursing in Charlottesville, VA and worked within inpatient psychiatric facilities and the emergency department after graduating until 2001. An opportunity to work in Relief and Development within Central and South America meant the next few years were spent traveling and working in a variety of resource poor environments.
She obtained her Bachelor's of Nursing through Flinders University in South Australia and worked extensively in Aboriginal Health in the Kimberley Region. Her Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University, underpins her focus of public health and firmly established her desire to work towards social and equitable health outcomes, both locally and globally.

  Deborah Cracknell
Lecturer Deborah.Cracknell@op.ac.nz

Deborah trained as a mental health nurse in England during the 90s and came to NZ in 2003. Her background is in clinical mental health nursing, working across a variety of settings from primary care, acute, community and forensic. Her last clinical position was working as a Nurse Therapist for a Child and Family Mental Health Team in Dunedin. Deborah started at OP early 2017 and she enjoyed supporting second and third year nursing students on their clinical mental health placements. This year Deborah is also coordinating the Mental Health and Addictions paper for Enrolled Nurses and she is looking forward to the new challenges. Last year she finished her Masters (Clinical Nursing) degree and this involved a research project with newly graduated nurses working in the mental health sector. She also completed a Post Grad Certificate in Higher Education. Her professional interests include solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mental health promotion and working with children and youth.

  Donna Burkett
Lecturer Donna.Burkett@op.ac.nz

Donna Burkett, RN, BN, MHPrac(Child Health). Donna is a Registered Nurse with 19 years of clinical paediatric experience and several years teaching experience within the world of nursing. Donna joined the School of Nursing lecturer team at Otago Polytechnic in October 2018, having completed her BN at OP in 1999. Donna has worked both nationally and internationally during her career, more recently returning from working in Qatar in the Middle East where she helped to commission and open a brand new specialty woman and children's hospital, a first of its kind for the Middle Eastern region. Her passion is centered around empowering nurses to strive for excellence in the care they provide, in order to promote improved health outcomes for patients and their families. Donna is excited to be part of the innovative and dynamic child focused iMOKO initiative created by Dr Lance O'Sullivan, made available to ECE teachers through the exciting Edu-Bit micro credentialing platform offered through Otago Polytechnic and is engaged in research focused on the development of a clinical coaching model within undergraduate nursing programmes.

Publications and Research

McDiarmid, R., & Burkett, D. (2018) Seeking clinical excellence through the implementation of an innovative peer coaching model in undergraduate nursing education. Otago Polytechnic & SIT 2018 Research Symposium, Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill.

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  Emma Collins
Principal Lecturer Emma.Collins@op.ac.nz

Emma Collins
Principal Lecturer

Emma is a Principal Lecturer within the School of Nursing, as well as a Learning and Teaching Specialist (ePortfolios) with the Learning and Teaching Development team.
She began working for OP in 2011 and holds a Master of Nursing, specialising in Child Health. Her background is in paediatric nursing and community child and family health, in particular, school nursing and public health. Emma currently remains working clinically in a paediatric inpatient setting.
Her teaching commitments include professional nursing – theory and research, as well as coordination of clinical experiences.
Her research interests include Nursing Informatics – from developing and publishing guidelines for emerging practitioners with national colleagues, implementation and support of ePortfolios, to introducing augmented reality into nursing education using the Microsoft HoloLens.

Email: Emma.Collins@op.ac.nz

Publications and Research

Collins,E., Ross,J., Crawley,J.,& Thompson,R. (2017) Educational Framework for Sustainability to Undergraduate Nurses. Poster presentation at the Australasian Nurse Educators conference, Christchurch, 2017.

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  Josie Crawley
Principal Lecturer Josie.Crawley@op.ac.nz

Josie Crawley
Senior Lecturer

Josie has worked at Otago Polytechnic since 2000. She is a Senior Lecturer and her key foci are community nursing and nursing theory. Her qualifications include an RN from Christchurch Polytechnic, a BA and MEd (Counselling) from the University of Otago, and a GCTLT and certificate Mata a Ao Maori from Otago Polytechnic. Her research interests include communication, learning through narratives, storytelling, health promotion and flexible learning.

Email: Josie.Crawley@op.ac.nz

Publications and Research

Ditzel, L. & Crawley, J. (2018) Learning to think outside the square. In Matheson, R (Ed) Transition: through and out of higher education, Oxfordshire, UK:Routledge. p 133-135.

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  Kimberly Smith
Lecturer Kimberly.Smith@op.ac.nz

I have worked at Otago Polytechnic since 2009 teaching bioscience (anatomy/mātai tinana & physiology/mātai whaiaroaro) courses across a variety of programmes and am currently teaching bioscience courses within the Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Nursing and the Enrolled Nursing programmes. I hold a BA in Anthropology and Anatomy (Colorado State University) and a MSc in Anatomy & Biological Anthropology (Otago University). I am absolutely fascinated by the human body and love helping students understand it and apply this knowledge to their chosen field of practice.

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Laurie Mahoney
Senior Lecturer Laurie.Mahoney@op.ac.nz

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  Liz Ditzel
Professor Liz.Ditzel@op.ac.nz

Liz Ditzel is a Registered Nurse who loves teaching. Her career as an educator spans a variety of healthcare and management roles at Dunedin Hospital including Nursing Tutor, In-Service Educator and postgraduate Critical Care Course Coordinator. As a clinical nurse, she held a number of practice and leadership roles including Intensive Care Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and Afternoon Duty Coordinator. Mid-career, Liz completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Master’s degree in economics and management and was appointed Lecturer in Management at the University of Otago, specialising in human resource management and organisational behaviour. Her Doctoral thesis examined the effect of a psychological sense of community on the level of job stress and burnout among New Zealand nurses.

Having returned to nursing education in 2009, her is goal is to inspire students to ‘think like nurses’ and equip them with the skills to survive in today’s challenging healthcare environment. Liz’s personal career highlight was receiving a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. Recent research focuses on using creative learning and teaching strategies and mixed-reality technology to develop first-year nurses’ clinical reasoning skills. Liz is a member of the Research and Postgraduate Committee and Research Ethics Committee Chair.

Publications and Research

Ditzel, L. & Crawley, J. (2018) Learning to think outside the square. In Matheson, R (Ed) Transition: through and out of higher education, Oxfordshire, UK:Routledge. p 133-135.

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Rachel Parmee S
  Rachel Parmee
Senior Lecturer Rachel.Parmee@op.ac.nz

Teaching in the Enrolled Nurse programme

Previous experience in all levels of the BN and former post graduate programmes in the school of nursing

Previously worked in Quality Enhancement Centre

Rachel Sayers
Lecturer Rachel.Sayers@op.ac.nz

Rebecca McDiarmid
Senior Lecturer Rebecca.McDiarmid@op.ac.nz

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  Ruth Gardener
Lecturer Ruth.Gardener@op.ac.nz

Ruth is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing with a particular interest in Primary Health Nursing. She started working at Otago Polytechnic in 2009. Ruth is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse, has worked in a wide variety of health settings and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health.

  Suzie Bartlett
Senior Lecturer Suzie.Bartlett@op.ac.nz

Suzie Bartlett
Senior Lecturer/Course Coordinator

Suzie is a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator within the School of Nursing. She has worked at OP since 2012 after spending three years employed as a Clinical Lecturer while working as a clinical RN. She is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse and holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education which includes a research project in the Mental Health Nursing Simulated learning environment. Suzie is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Professional Practice. Her research is focused on the role of resilience in undergraduate nursing students, who are immersed in the mental health clinical environment.

Publications and Research

Bartlett, S. (2016) The simulated learning environment: The use of standardized actors in mental health nursing education.
The simulated learning environment.
MHNE Conference, Dunedin.

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Vicki Yarker Jones S
  Vicki Yarker-Jones
Senior Lecturer Vicki-Maree.Yarker-Jones@op.ac.nz

Vicki is a part-time Senior Lecturer within the School of Nursing. She began working for Otago Polytechnic in 2009 and holds a Master of Arts (Applied in Nursing).

Her areas of expertise are professional supervision/clinical supervision, primary health and mental health. She lives in Tapanui, enjoys living a rural lifestyle and is also an award winning Craft Beer Brewer!

Publications and Research

Yarker, V (2010) Providing a sustainable model of Professional Support for health professionals
Professional Supervision: Common threads, different patterns, Auckland University. 30 April - 1 May.

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Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

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  Geoffrey Harvey
Senior Lecturer Geoffrey.Harvey@op.ac.nz

Geoffrey has a background of 25 years in acute care nursing. Most of this time has been spent in critical care. He is a Certified Emergency Nurse who is passionate about developing nurse learners within this challenging area.

Geoffrey has extensive international experience, holding registration in four different countries. Geoffrey is the Program Leader for the Competence Assessment Program at Otago Polytechnic and he values the contribution that international nursing adds to the New Zealand healthcare context..

He has completed a Masters Degree through the University of Newcastle and is currently working towards a Master of Professional Practice.

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  Jean Ross
Associate Professor Jean.Ross@op.ac.nz

Jean is a Principal Lecturer and has been working at Otago Polytechnic since 2003. She is a Registered Nurse, holds a BN and a Master of Arts, and completed her Doctorate in 2017.

From 1994-2003, she was co-director of the National Centre for Rural Health and instrumental in the development of interdisciplinary postgraduate nursing education. In 2008, she received the Rural General Practice Network Peter Snow Memorial Award in recognition of her national contribution to rural health care.

Publications and Research

Ross, J., & Crawley, J. (2018) Appreciating rural nurses’ contribution to the delivery of health care through narrative inquiry and photo images: A study situated in New Zealand. 2018 International Rural Nursing Conference: Advancing Rural Health through our REACH: Research, Empowerment, Academics, Clinical Practice and Health Promotion July 23-26, 2018 | Nashville Airport Marriott | Nashville, Tennessee.

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  Karole Hogarth
Associate Professor Karole.Hogarth@op.ac.nz

Karole is a Principal Lecturer and has worked at Otago Polytechnic since 2005. During this time, she has worked within the Schools of Occupational Therapy, Midwifery and Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse (WINTEC) and holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) and a PhD in Anatomy, both from the University of Otago. Her research interests are science education, simulation, reproductive biology and technology in education. Karole is also a Justice of the Peace.

Publications and Research

Ditzel, L., Hogarth K., & Lesa, R. (2017) Immersive learning in nursing education: Results of a study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp 120-130.

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  Linda Kinniburgh
Principal Lecturer Linda.Kinniburgh@op.ac.nz

Linda currently manages the Enrolled Nurse programme in the School of Nursing Teaching at Otago Polytechnic since the mid 1980's, she has an extensive nursing practice background and has taken on various management opportunities, and has been Head of School, Nursing from 2005 until 2016. Linda loves working with diverse groups of people and completed her Master's thesis on Treaty of Waitangi education.

Publications and Research

Wilson,L., Kinniburgh, L. (2009) Autoethnography: exploration of a research method. Otago Polytechnic Health Research Forum. 12 August.

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Mereana Rapata Hanning S
  Mereana Rapata-Hanning
Principal Lecturer Mereana.Rapata-Hanning@op.ac.nz

Mereana's career at Te Kura Matatini ki Otago began in 1996 and she is currently a Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader within Te Kura Tapuhi | School of Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and her qualifications include a Master in Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning & Teaching. In 2017 she was the recipient of a AKO Aotearoa Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching - Kaupapa Maori Award. Mereana's iwi affiliations are Ngati Kurī , Te Aupouri and Ngapuhi.

Publications and Research

Hogarth, K & Rapata-Hanning M. (2014) Maori Health in Aotearoa. in Understanding Pathophysiology ANZ 2e edited by Craft, Gordon and Tiziani (eds).

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Michelle Watt
Clinical Coordinator Michelle.Watt@op.ac.nz

Support Staff

Colette Wright
Lecturer Colette.Wright@op.ac.nz