What we do

Our healthcare workforce has a direct impact on the health and well-being of every New Zealander at all ages and stages of their life. As such, the knowledge, skills, and attitudes developed by early career practitioners need to be shaped to meet the contemporary health needs of society. Our work is focused on discovering successful and distinctive approaches to teaching and learning that increase understanding of how education contributes to a workforce ready to tackle New Zealand’s health concerns. 

We are a collaborative research centre where project outcomes provide healthcare professional educators with a range of evidence-based tools and information to support an education response to support a reduction in health inequalities now and in the future. 

Current research

The Centre for Research in Education for Healthcare Professionals is currently working on the following project.

Future nursing workforce

In this national, collaborative study with researchers from across the New Zealand Polytechnic sector, our research aims to develop an understanding about ways that the undergraduate nursing curriculum can be adapted to prepare the future nursing workforce within the changing demographic of New Zealand’s population. BY 2032, a quarter of New Zealand’s population will be aged over 65 years, and by 2052, half the population will be over 50. The impact of our research aims to influence and impact policy and practice. Presently, we are collecting data on our national survey of student nurses’ perceptions of working in aged care and are stocktaking clinical placements across the polytechnic sector nationally. Phase 2 will be completed throughout 2023. 

This national research has been funded by a Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) Te Apārangi Whitinga Fellowship

Research publications

Published research from the Education for Healthcare Professionals Research Centre.

Online from Monday

Research publication:
Online from Monday: Lecturers’ experiences of the rapid transition to online learning delivery following the first national emergency response to Covid-19 In press.

Heath, S., Perry, A., Kabbar, E., & Palfreyman, S. (2022, July). Disruption in the classroom: When hands-on becomes hands-off. Paper presented at the Te manawa reka Curiosity Symposium, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua 
Summary: This research examines the impact of a rapid transition to online learning as experienced by academic staff in the polytechnic sector following New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 global pandemic.  

Learning to speak nursing

Heath, S., Roy, D. E., Williams, P., Phillips, J., Wheeler, L., & Hikuroa, E. (2021, December). Using LNAAT (Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool) testing to identify at-risk learners in an undergraduate nursing programme. Paper presented at the Rangahau Horonuku Hou New Research Landscapes, Virtual.
Summary: Ensuring equity for all learners is a complex issue. In our research, we have looked at assessing learners’ literacy and numeracy at the start of their academic programme to highlight learners who might benefit from early support. We are examining whether this early support promotes the successful completion of a chosen programme of study. 

Contact the Education for Healthcare Professionals Research Centre

Phone: +64 9 815 4321 ext 7214
Email: research@unitec.ac.nz
Physical address: Unitec, Waitākere campus, Ratanui Street, Henderson,  Auckland, New Zealand.
Instagram: futureagedcareworkforce