School of Nursing

Kristal Roache

Pathway to postgraduate studies

Kristal graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2004 and was awarded the Frontier Medical Award for clinical and academic excellence in her Bachelor of Health Science degree, specialising in nursing. Kristal entered the Mental Health New Graduate programme through Auckland District Health Boards and completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Sciences in 2005 at The University of Auckland. After a short break in study and some travel to Europe, Kristal went back in 2008 to complete a Post Graduate Diploma with Distinction at the University of Auckland, coming top of the mental health (speciality practice), and did some more travel to South America after its completion. Kristal has worked full-time as a mental health nurse, and part-time clinical buy back tutor for Auckland University of Technology, whilst also completing her Masters thesis, with the first year of study being funding through Te Pou as part of the Clinical Leadership Programme.

Current work

'The transition to parenthood: The impact on lesbian couple relationships in planned families'

Kristal’s Masters thesis is due for completion in Dec 2011. The research design is qualitative, using a general inductive approach to data analysis and face to face interviewing for data collection. The project has required travel to several New Zealand cities to interview participants and data collection is now complete. The emerging findings are due for analysis in early 2011. Kristal’s Masters thesis topic aims to explore the experiences of lesbian women in the transition to planned parenthood, and the effect that this transition has on their relationship as a couple. Planned families are families where two lesbian women have consciously decided to have a child together, using donor insemination to conceive. The transition to parenthood is an extremely significant life even and thus impacts on relationships in a variety of ways. The main objectives of the research are to identify key changes which lesbian woman describe as being of significance to their relationship in the transition to parenthood and to explore how the identified changes affect the relationship. Given that health professionals must provide care to culturally diverse populations, being equipped to work with lesbian led families, and have an understanding of contextual issues is an important aspect of culturally safe practice. Whilst cultural/ethnic diversity attempts to be supported within clinical practice, so too does the diversity associated with people of other sexual orientation and family structures. Therefore, the last objective of the research is to examine the impact of the transition to parenthood in relation to experiences with family, friends and health-care professionals.

Kristal has just accepted a job in 2011 for Auckland University of Technology within the School of Nursing and will be working for Shine (previously known as Preventing Violence in Homes), as well as working on preparation for her Civil Union in Feb 2011.