Meet your Committee

(Left to right) Dr. Lorraine Ritchie, Debra Coates, Kylie Short, Rachel Sayers, Dr. Priya Saravanakumar, Louise Chan, Dr. Wendy Blair, Dr. Ruth Crawfrord and Kathyn Tennant.

Committee Profiles

Louise Chan - Chair

Email Louise Louise Chan

Louise is the Associate Director of Nursing (ADoN) for the Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability services (MHAIDS) covering Capital and Coast DHB, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.           

Her mental health nursing background includes:

  • Working throughout Aotearoa and England,
  • Adult inpatient and community,
  • Older adult inpatient and community,
  • Mental Health ED (across the lifespan),
  • Crisis and acute mental health,
  • Clinical nurse specialist and nurse educator roles,
  • Clinical education (tertiary institutions), and
  • Leadership and management roles.

Louise’s research interest areas include:

  • Organisational and workforce development and sustainability,
  • LGBTQIA+, and
  • All the neuro’s!!! (Neuroanatomy, neuroscience, neuropsychiatry…..)

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Debra Coates - TreasurerDebra Coates

Email Debra

I am currently working as a Senior Lecturer at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty. My role includes teaching on the Bachelor of Nursing Programme and I am the Competency Assessment Programme Coordinator. Originally from the UK, I have been in New Zealand 18 years.

My background includes RN roles in the UK, Middle East and New Zealand in:

  • Paediatric ICU
  • Neonates and SCBU
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Public Health Nursing, and
  • Leadership

My research interests are:

  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Nurse migration, and
  • Teaching nursing students with English as a second language.

I am currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate at AUT University, exploring what influences the practice of overseas RNs working as HCAs in aged residential care in New Zealand, using Bourdieu’s theory of practice as the theoretical lens.  

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Kathryn Tennant - SecretaryKathryn Tennant

Email Kathryn

I am currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist (Research) at Waitematā DHB. I support practice-based research capacity and capability building through the provision of qualitative research education and methodological support for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. I am passionate about demystifying research and making it more accessible and realisable.

Originally from the UK, my nursing background includes clinical and leadership roles in the National Health Service, Nursing Officer in the Royal Navy, as well as a number of academic positions. These include:

  • Senior Sister Critical Care
  • Ward Manager High Dependency Unit, and
  • Senior Lecturer in Nursing

My research interests are

  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Supporting practice-based research, and
  • Supporting and developing staff

I am currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education through Staffordshire University, exploring the association between expectations, satisfaction and learning in respect of clinical placements for student nurses undertaking a BSc(Hons) Nursing (Adult) programme.  

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Dr. Lorraine Ritchie - CommitteeLorraine Ritche

Email Dr. Lorraine

I am a Nurse Consultant at the Southern DHB focusing on policy, projects and professional issues. I have been involved in nursing for over 30 years, and currently hold a role as Professional Practice Fellow at the University of Otago Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies where I teach and supervise Master’s students.

My nursing background includes:

  • Aged care and care of older people
  • Nursing education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels
  • Postnatal/antenatal nursing, and
  • Management of an aged care facility

My research interests focus on:

  • Professional standards
  • Wellbeing of nurses
  • Older people’s health
  • Aged care
  • Social gerontology, and
  • Arts and health

My primary research interest and experience is in qualitative methodologies, particularly narrative approaches. I am published in national and international journals, and editedListening with my Heart (2017), the inaugural book of poetry written by NZ nurses.

I look forward to being a member of the NRS committee and promoting research and nurse researchers.

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Dr. Priya Saravanakumar - CommitteeDr Priya Saravanakumar

Email Dr. Priya

I am currently a lecturer at the School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and have diverse clinical, educational, and leadership experience.

I have practiced, taught and led teams in adult and older person nursing in various settings in India, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and New Zealand.

I have also led and developed undergraduate and post graduate papers in Nursing in Sri Lanka and New Zealand universities. I teach undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Clinical Sciences, AUT and supervise candidates in Master’s, DHSc and PhD programmes.

I am a recipient of the Australian Leadership Award in 2010, and was awarded a PhD in Nursing from University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. I pursue research interests in:

  • older adult health
  • complementary and alternative therapies for pain and symptom management in older adults
  • mixed methods, and
  • integrated care.

I am a member of the AUT Centre for Active Ageing and New Zealand Association of Gerontology, and some of the current research projects I am involved in as a lead/co-lead/associate researcher are:

  • A multiphase, mixed method research project on "Wellbeing of older adults in New Zealand"
  • A pilot study evaluating the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive and person-centred interprofessional collaborative practice model in a primary care environment
  • Filial piety and care arrangements for ageing immigrant parents: adult children’s views in a New Zealand context, and
  • A systematic review of safety and dependence risk assessments for older adults living in independent-type residential care arrangements.

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Rachel Sayers - Committee

Rachel SayersEmail Rachel

Rachel is employed as a Lecturer at the School of Nursing, Otago Polytechnic.

With a background in Paediatric and Neonatal nursing, Rachel has been involved with Paediatric research since 1994. She was previously employed as an Assistant Research Fellow at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago University, (1994-2019), and has been employed in student nursing education since 2012. Rachel qualified with a Master of Health Sciences in 2005. She also holds a position as a Facilitator for the Paediatric Sleep Medicine Clinical Network (New Zealand Child and Youth Clinical Networks, Paediatric Society of New Zealand). 

The main focus of research Rachel has been involved with is in paediatric sleep. This has included research on:

  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI)
  • safe sleep practices
  • infant irritability
  • sleep and obesity, and
  • infant sleep education.

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Kylie Short - CommitteeKylie Short

Email Kylie

Kylie is a senior nursing lecturer at Ara Institute of Canterbury. She holds an adjunct fellowship with the University of Canterbury, and more than 22 years’ experience in the field of nursing practice and education.

Specialist areas of teaching include:

  • Postgraduate education with a strong focus on Advanced Health Assessment
  • Diagnostic Reasoning, and
  • Acute Care Management.

Clinical background includes:

  • Intensive Care Nursing, most recently specialising in Cardiothoracic ICU.
  • Acute medical admissions, and
  • General post-operative care.

Research interests include:

  • Looking at how healthcare professionals assess patient’s understanding of information
  • How understanding of information affects the legitimacy of providing 'informed consent'.
  • Why transition to a nursing career through a fast track option?
  • Looking at how we can develop students' skills of critical evaluation, of the information technology sites they are using to enhance their learning, and
  • Looking at the outcomes of integrating a flipped classroom methodology into clinical practice preparation for the master’s programme.

Kylie is currently completing a PhD and exploring the topic; 'What do patients understand following the delivery of 'hospital' cardiac health education/information? A New Zealand Study'. This national scale research will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

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NRS Committee Role




 Louise Chan



 Debbie Coates


 Bay of Plenty

 Kathryn Tennant

 Social Media Coordinator

 Greater Auckland

 Rachel Sayers

 Engagement Coordinator


 Dr. Lorraine Ritchie

 Membership Coordinator


 Dr. Priya Saravanakumar

 Events Coordinator

 Greater Auckland

 Kylie Short

 Communications Coordinator


 Sandra Bayliss

 Professional Nursing Advisor, NZNO

 Palmerston North (NZNO)

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