Joanna has recently arrived in the north to teach mental health nursing at NorthTec with a background of eight years in education, and 20 years as a registered nurse.
“My underlying premise is that people are taonga. As a nurse it’s a privilege to engage with people in meaningful ways at significant times in their lives.”
“What attracted me to NorthTec nursing was its on-line component. It’s innovative and means that students from the rural communities with the greatest need can enter the nursing programme. Nearly 50% of the course is still hands-on.”
In her work teaching mental health nursing, Joanna loves seeing students attitudes shift from feeling frightened about people who experience mental illness to being intrigued, interested, and caring.
“I really enjoy supporting our student nurses develop their own sense of agency and belief in their abilities. As stronger individuals and nurses we can better serve the health needs of our communities.”
“I’ve been welcomed into the strong network of the Northland mental health community and I admire the innovative practices of the Maori mental health team and the Intensive mental health Care Team - ICT.”
Joanna advocates the Newtown Union Health Service model in which nurses work autonomously in a multi-disciplinary team. “It is the basis of Health Care Aotearoa which has community owned services that enhance health care access for marginalized communities.”
Joanna is already aware of the huge need for health care in the north. “Physical access is difficult, and the level of deprivation helps remind me of the triumph of the human spirit over hardship.”
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