School of Nursing

Barbara Smith

Pathway to postgraduate studies

Barbara had nearly completed a BA at the University of Auckland when she started my nurse training at Green Lane Hospital. She was granted leave to complete three Stage Three English papers in my first year of Nurse training. She completed her BA, majoring in English and History, and two years later registered as nurse. A year later Barbara went to England and trained as a midwife, followed a year later by trauma training at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. She returned to New Zealand, and 16 months later did Post Grad at SANS. In between Barbara worked at Green Lane Hospital as a supervisor. The only university papers available at the time were through Massey and were of limited interest to her. In 1980 she joined the staff of the Auckland Hospital Board School of Nursing and while there completed a Diploma in Education extramurally from Massey based on her teaching experience in the Hospital Board School, one of only two in New Zealand who did this. The School closed in 1990 and Barbara moved into the private sector after a serious accident. In 2000 she went off to Auckland School of Nursing and did my MHSc which she gained with first class honours in 2003. Then in 2007 Matthew Parsons said she had had a long enough holiday and could do a PhD.

Current work

'An exploration of the impact of the combat experience of RNZAF aircrew of WW2, from the perspective of the veterans, their spouse/ partner, children and/or grandchildren'

Barbara's topic was based on her work with War Veterans in the previous six years, her love of history, her previous writing and publishing experience, and the need to care for older people within the context of their lives, not just as signs and symptoms. More difficult certainly, but infinitely more satisfying and successful in meeting their needs. So here she is, 24 veteran interviews, four interviews with wives, two with siblings, all face to face, and 15 telephone interviews with children/ grandchildren later, having been from Mangonui to Mt Maunganui and all places in between to record the interviews. Regardless of where the nurse trained or when, higher education is possible, and many of us have pursued this course in many different ways.