School of Nursing timeline

In celebration of our 20th anniversary in 2019, school staff put together a timeline of achievements and milestones from our history.



  • Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing commences in the Department of Psychological Medicine – the first time nursing is taught at the University of Auckland.
  • Tony O’Brien is employed to coordinate mental health postgraduate courses.
  • Specialist librarian Lorraine Nielson provides library support for teachers and students in the Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health - the beginning of a long association with the School of Nursing.  



  • Division of Nursing (later School of Nursing) established at 85 Park Road.
  • January: Judy Kilpatrick and Margaret Horsburgh employed as Directors of Nursing.
  • July: First postgraduate course in nursing starts, 'Evidenced Based Clinical Assessment and Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses'.


  • Master of Nursing commences.
  • Semester One: first intake of Bachelor of Nursing students.
  • The Advanced Nursing Practice course is offered in Auckland and Waikato.


  • 'NURSING 706: Pharmacology and Pharmaconetics', the first Nurse Practitioner prescribing course starts.
  • 'GENPRAC 770: Health Services for Elderly People' is offered as multi-disciplinary paper.
  •  First New Zealand Nurse Practitioner: Deborah Harris.


  • Introduction of the PhD in Nursing.
  • Introduction of an interdisciplinary Māori Health.
  • First five students to complete the Master of Nursing.
  • November: First Bachelor of Nursing cohort completed.


  • The school welcomes its first Professor of Nursing Mental Health – Frances Hughes (2002 – 2003).
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) introduced.
  • Postgraduate nursing is offered in Northland.
  • Palliative Care multidisciplinary papers developed.
  • Jane Bebbington, RN awarded Dennis Pickup Clinical Educator Award - a first for the school.


  • Anna King is the first student to complete the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) at our University.  



  • Postgraduate nursing is offered in Taranaki.
  • First Nurse Practitioner Prescriber in New Zealand – Paula Renouf.


  • Postgraduate nursing is offered in Tauranga.
  • School of Nursing moves to ECOM House on Ferncroft St.


  • Two nursing conjoint degrees are now on offer – Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Science.
  • Anna King is the first student at the University of Auckland to go into a PhD in nursing from the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours).


  • Merryn Gott is appointed as the school's first Professor of Research.



  • Postgraduate nursing courses now offered in Otago.


  • The school moves from the ECOM building back to Grafton Campus, 85 Park Road.


  • The University of Auckland's School of Nursing has the highest number of research staff of any nursing school in New Zealand.


  • Introduction of first Registered Nurse Designated Prescriber course.
  • The school offers the first Symposium for Safe Prescribing with the School of Pharmacy.



  • School of Nursing is ranked 32nd for nursing in the QS World rankings by subject.
  • The Nurse Practitioner Training Programme starts.


  • Associate Professor Judy Kilpatrick retires as Head of School.
  • Professor Alexandra (Sandie) McCarthy is appointed as Head of School.


  • Professor Sandie McCarthy resigns.
  • July: Dr Julia Slark appointed Head of School.
  • School of Nursing is ranked 36th for nursing in the QS World rankings by subject.