Tue 10 Sep 2019

Introducing Ruth Crawford

Dr Ruth Crawford

Director, School - Nursing, Health & Wellness

Te Kura Tapuhi, Hauora & Oranga

We welcome Dr Ruth Crawford to the WITT whanau this week, as Director – School of Nursing, Health & Wellness. Ruth is a registered nurse, an experienced teacher and an active researcher and she comes to WITT with nearly 30 years of nursing and health tertiary education experience.

“I have been a registered nurse since 1980 and have had a varied career in nursing, incorporating orthopaedic, medical, oncology, child health and addictions,” she says.

“I began my teaching career at Manukau Polytechnic (now MIT), then moved to an Access Training Course, teaching Health Care Assistance in South Auckland. This work was followed by 22 years at the Eastern Institute of Technology, coordinating and teaching in foundation programmes through to the newly developed Master of Health Science.”

“Most recently I have been working at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua teaching in their Master of Professional Practice Programme, then managing a team of staff supporting teaching practice and flexible learning delivery across Whitireia and WelTec.”

Ruth completed her PhD in 2014 and is an active researcher in several areas of education.

“I am passionate about the potential of nursing, health and wellness education and the benefits of tertiary education,” she says.

“My PhD explored nursing responses to parents’ emotional communication in an inpatient children’s unit. Other research interests are Māori health workforce development, the impact of paid work on first-year nursing students, Dedicated Education Units in nursing education, interprofessional education and the impact of smartphones in nursing education.”

Ruth says she is looking forward to sinking her teeth into her new role. 

“At the School level, I am looking forward to meeting staff and developing a strategic plan for the School, incorporating programme and course development and stakeholder engagement. On a personal level, I am eager to work with my colleagues at WITT to ensure WITT is a preferred provider of nursing, health and wellness programmes.”

“Taranaki deserves excellent, sustainable tertiary education and I am delighted to have an opportunity to lead this mahi.”

Ruth’s family originate from Southland and she grew up in Timaru. Her and husband John have two sons, Sergei, a policeman in central Auckland and Alexander, a labourer. “In December 2018 our family was joined by our mokopuna Christopher, now nine months,” she says.

Coming into a Taranaki summer, Ruth should get the chance to exercise her passion for the outdoors. After a hair-raising experience earlier this year, she says she’ll be treading with caution.

“I am a keen hill walker and tramper and love exploring New Zealand’s bush,” she says. “In March this year I did a day walk in the Tararua Forest which went horribly wrong and we ended up spending the night on a rocky shelf above a river with a muesli bar between three of us. The next day was a 12-hour walk out. I learnt that a Personal Locator Beacon is a good idea as is telling someone where you are heading!”