Pinnacle nursing director honoured by University of Waikato

9 Jun 2022
Pinnacle nursing director honoured by University of WaikatoJan Adams, Pinnacle Nursing Director

Pinnacle Nursing Director Jan Adams has been awarded as an Honorary Professor of Te Huataki Waiora School of Health at University of Waikato, following her work with the university to establish its Bachelor of Nursing programme with a strong primary care focus.

Jan has an extensive background in health as a registered nurse and midwife who has held a variety of leadership positions including Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Chief Operating Officer at Waikato DHB; and Managing Director and Global Chief Nurse for Bupa Villages and Aged Care (Australia and New Zealand), before joining Pinnacle as Nursing Director. Jan has maintained her nursing certificate throughout and has a unique view of the nursing workforce’s challenges and opportunities.

Getting involved with the university’s nursing programme was an obvious step for Jan, who met with the university early on to advocate that its new nursing degree needed to be different, with a significant focus on primary care.

“The demand for qualified nurses to work in primary and community settings is huge, and in my opinion the nursing education on offer at the time didn’t give it enough focus,” says Jan. “We went out to practices and asked about the skills they wanted nursing graduates to have, and how they could be better prepared for a career in primary care.”

Jan joined the Bachelor of Nursing advisory board and helped develop a skills matrix to direct the knowledge nursing students would gain during each year of study. Students now complete a 12-week practical block in primary/community settings each year and will graduate with the core competencies of primary care, such as cervical screening. “The course has four critical elements: primary/community care, acute care, Māori health and mental health,” explains Jan. “These components prepare nurses to work in a different way, enabling a direct career path into primary care nursing for those that want it. Graduates have the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running, saving practices time and money in upskilling nurses to join the primary care workforce.”

Jan says from the outset she wanted to improve the preparation of nurses to work in primary care once they qualify. “Nursing is about people and wanting the best for them, so I got involved in shaping the degree programme to create positive change. To be recognised and honoured for that is a real privilege.”

Jan will be Honorary Professor for a three year period from 1 July 2022 to 1 July 2025, joining Sue Hayward, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Waikato DHB, who is the other Honorary Professor in the nursing programme.

Acting chief executive Justin Butcher says, “Jan’s leadership in primary care nursing is second to none. She is a powerful advocate for change and supporting nurses to work to top of scope, as an enabler for better delivery of primary care across the board. We’re very proud of the relationship Jan has developed with the University of Waikato, and having this mahi formally recognised is an incredible honour.”