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Fifty years of caring

By UCOL on Thursday, 22 December 2016

UCOL Nursing student in Sim Lab

Stephenie Orchard starting Nursing in the 60’s, when medicine and nursing was still developing.

Having graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1967, Stephenie has seen many changes in medicine over the years. Training at the same time CPR was being developed and there was no such thing as ICU, or CCU, no disposable equipment, and no monitoring, dialysis or transplants.

“I have enjoyed all of my nursing career both in England and New Zealand,” Stephenie says.

After working in England as a registered nurse for three years Stephenie emigrated New Zealand, arriving December 14, 1970, to work at Wellington Hospital in a 40 bedded Medical Ward. Four years later she became a Ward Sister, and in 1975 she was nominated by Wellington Hospital Matron, Gloria Gratten, to do her Advanced Diploma in Nursing in Wellington.

In 1979 Stephenie started her career in Nursing Education, at Wellington Polytech – where she stayed until 2003 before joining UCOL in 2005. In the ‘90s she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and a Masters in Philosophy.

“Stephenie is resilient, forward thinking and very wise,” colleague Tracey Cook says.

“She has an innate perceptive ability to be able to read a person. Known to call a spade a shovel, Stephenie is respected for her honest advice, and many students have reiterated this to us; they like the realness and truth behind it. Stephenie has always supported and advocated for students, and if a student showed a willingness to commit to their success she would be right behind them.” 

Retiring this month, Stephenie says a highlight of her career has been working at UCOL in the Wairarapa. “The introduction of the nursing programme in the community has given many people a second chance in education without them having to leave the district. Many of our nursing graduates are still working in a variety of nursing positions both in the Wairarapa and the wider nursing community.”

UCOL Head of School Nursing (Regional) Carol Stewart says Stephanie’s immense knowledge and advice will be missed at UCOL, along with her great sense of humour. “Stephenie is well respected by nursing colleagues both in education and the community of nursing practice. We wish Stephenie every success in her retirement and she will be greatly missed by us.”