Post Graduate Nursing Lecturer
Deborah Somerville, RN, MNursing
Professional Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland
I graduated from AUT in 1991 and worked at Auckland hospital on a medical/renal ward for two years before moving downstairs to the Emergency Department. This had always been my goal after completing my pre reg in Middlemore ED. I spent 3.5 years in Auck ED before going to California and Nursing in Emergency Departments there. I started as a traveller nurse which means short assignments and spent a summer nursing in Alaska before heading back to San Francisco and working at San Francisco General Hospital ED. Its a level one trauma center which means it takes all trauma in the san francisco area plus treats a large homeless population so a really interesting place to work. During this time I became an ACLS instructor and realised how much I enjoyed teaching.
In 2000 I returned to NZ, and focused on getting into nursing education. I enrolled in my Nursing Masters full-time and started a part-time job as a nurse educator in Auckland ED. When I competed my Nursing Masters in 2002 I increased my hours as an educator and started some casual teaching at the university (Auckland).
In 2007 I started in a permanent role at the University of Auckland. My job title now is a Professional Teaching Fellow on the post graduate programme. I co-ordinate the clinical assessment paper which runs in different streams around the upper north island, teaching about 250 post grad nursing students each year. I also co-ordinate the Emergency post grad paper which runs first semester - this is still my area of passion.
Since leaving the US in 2000 I have returned twice a year for 6-8 weeks and worked back as a a staff nurse in the ED at San Francisco General Hospital. This keeps me clinically updated and constantly challenged by a changing nursing environment - I am sending you this email from san fran right now.
I think lecturing requires a real interest in wanting to convey information to students that makes them feel passionate or at least enthusiastic about the topic. This means being interested in the topic yourself. I also think with lecturing at any nursing level its also about staying clinically in touch so what you are teaching is relevant to whats happening in the current nursing environment. So keeping a clinical nursing job alongside a teaching one is important. Finally to teach you really want to have studied at a post graduate level and to teach at a University you do need a Masters.