Lorraine Hetaraka-Stevens is the first nursing director for the country's largest PHO, ProCare. Check out who inspired her to go nursing, her wish list for nursing and why she'd like to head to Vietnam some day.
JOB TITLE | Nursing Director ProCare
IWI | Ngati Kahu, Te Arawa me Ngati Ranginui
HAPU | Te Whanau Moana, Rorohuri, Ngati Pikiao, Tapuika me te Pirirakau
Other qualifications/professional roles?
I went on to complete a postgraduate certificate in Māori health followed by a postgraduate diploma in leadership and long-term conditions. I am currently enrolled in the master’s programme at The University of Auckland. I sit on a range of DHB advisory groups and am also on Ngā Manukura o Āpōpō (the national Māori nursing and midwifery workforce development group), the Northern Cancer Network and the Maternal Foetal Medicine advisory group.
My daughters were my inspiration and motivation, and I choose nursing as a career because I wanted to make a difference to my whānau and the communities I serve. I have two younger sisters who are currently undergraduate nursing students and I enjoy supporting them on their pathway. Both in my personal and professional life I am dedicated to encouraging rangatahi into nursing and health-related careers and then supporting them to develop into our future leaders.
What was your nursing career up to your current job?
My first position was at Tauranga Hospital’s Te Puna Hauora (kaupapa Māori service) and I was a member of the service’s first new graduate programme cohort. I was placed in maternity services and rotated between postnatal, delivery suite and the special care baby unit. At the time I thought of training as a midwife but ended up accepting a position in the paediatric ward.
I spent a couple of years working in paediatrics then moved to Auckland to further my career; I worked for several years at Starship Children’s Hospital in general medicine. My next move was to HealthWest PHO where I went on to specialise in paediatric respiratory medicine with a primary focus on bronchiectasis. This sparked my interest in population health, primary prevention and health policy.
I accepted a position at Tamaki PHO as nurse leader, a role I thoroughly enjoyed. Wanting to further develop my leadership abilities, I successfully applied for the role of associate director of nursing at Auckland DHB, where I spent four years until my recent appointment as nursing director for ProCare.
So what is your current job all about?
I’m fairly new to the role, having only been appointed three weeks ago, so I’m still finding my feet. My role is to be accountable for standards of nursing care and the strategic development of primary care nursing. I am part of ProCare’s clinical directorate and I’m responsible for several portfolios across the network, some of which include allied health, child and maternal health, professional development and education, new graduate programmes and workforce development.
What do you love most about your current nursing leadership role?
Working with inspirational people; the ability to influence change; the variety and diversity of the role; the challenges that come with that and the opportunity to contribute to making a difference.
What do you love least?
Workload demands placed on the workforce that are challenging, particularly on frontline staff; inequities that persistently exist across the health care system; fragmentation across the health system and bureaucracy.
If there was a fairy godmother of nursing, what three wishes would you ask to be granted for the New Zealand nursing workforce?
Other than wishing for more wishes, I would wish for the following:
- Guaranteed employment for all New Zealand-trained new graduates, with a priority on recruitment in primary care.
- Increase Māori nurse numbers across the healthcare system and develop them into designated leadership positions.
- Remove ALL barriers to enable primary care nurses to work at the top of their scope.
What do you think are the characteristics of a good leader? And are they intrinsic or can they be learnt?