Balancing four children, a career and higher education is all in a day’s work for Liz Day, whose distance study with Otago University led to a new career as a full-time nursing lecturer.
Liz came to New Zealand from Britain in 2004 to work as a clinical nurse and quickly decided to dip her toes into postgraduate studies, taking a variety of papers at Otago’s Wellington School of Medicine. She is now working towards her master’s degree in Primary Health Care as well as lecturing second-year nurses at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Wellington.
Otago was not Liz’s first taste of distance learning, but she has found Otago more supportive than her previous distance study experience with British institutes.
“Otago’s Distance Learning administration staff are fantastic and always accessible by email or phone. So are all the lecturers and course co-ordinators. You never feel you are being a trouble to anyone.”
Liz found Distance Learning through Otago to be the perfect way to combine study with motherhood and work.
“Having four kids and full-time work, I didn’t want to travel all the way to Dunedin, so having an Otago base in Wellington was great.
“I can have my resource folder with me when I take the kids for swimming and study at the pool-side, or during lunch breaks at work.
“There is also a course on improving your study habits, which really sets you up and teaches you the tools of the trade. It makes you think about your own learning style and what really works for you.”
Liz’s next step is to complete her master’s thesis, focusing on nurses working for Maori health-care providers, which will open a new opportunities for her.
“If you want to go into research or another clinical area, these qualifications open up so many doors; it’s up to you which ones you want to walk through.”