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: Phamacology 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.

Add to the timeline

You can continue to add to this timeline for the rest of 2019. Please submit any missing events or milestones to Dr Kate Prebble at