Te Mana Hauora O Te Tairawhiti
6 June 2017
With a resume as full as her passport, Serita Karauria is certainly happy to have settled into her new role as Associate Director of Nursing.
Born in Wellington but raised at Tokomaru Bay, leaving home in 2004 for America was not easy, but it made her return in 2015 that much sweeter.
“This is home and it is hard to leave home, but what you bring back once you do go is just invaluable.”
Career-wise, Serita packed more into 11 years than some do in a life time.
First she worked at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, then Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, UCLA Medical Center and Cedar Sinai Hospital (the go-to for Hollywood’s elite).
Having previously completed her BN at Auckland UNITEC and her PGDip in Nursing from Massey University - Serita obtained her MSN in Management and Leadership from WGU, USA. She also became accredited as a Critical Care Registered Nurse and Certified Emergency Nurse while overseas.
Career highlights aside, there were no shortage of personal gains too - It was while in LA that Serita met her now husband Kris.
The pair moved to San Diego together from 2010-2015.
“While in San Diego I worked for Scripps Health - one of the biggest health care providers in Southern California.
“In my role there I oversaw critical care nurses from five different hospitals – there were so many people, sometimes I couldn’t remember everyone's' names.”
Although working in the Tairāwhiti region is a more intimate experience, the Scripps role and Associate Director of Nursing roles are similar.
“Here is just on a smaller scale,” says Serita.
After she had her first child Liam – now two-and-a-half - Serita and her husband decided New Zealand was the place to raise a family.
They journeyed back to Gisborne, where Serita took a job for Hauora Tairāwhiti as a flight nurse.
Her second pregnancy with daughter Analea – now one-years-old ¬– meant her time on the flight team was short-lived.
“I was the flightless flight nurse!” says Serita.
Once her maternity leave ended in November, Serita came back to Gisborne hospital as a Duty Nurse Manager – transitioning into her current role mid-May.
Michelle Torrie, formerly of Tauranga Hospital has moved to Tairāwhiti to fill Serita's Duty Nurse Manager slot.
“One of the main points of coming home was for that work-life balance; you don’t have that in the states,” says Serita.
Of Ngāti Porou descent, specifically the Te Aotāwarirangi and Ruataupare hapūs – Serita’s spiritual connection to the land and people of Tairāwhiti meant coming home was inevitable.
“Being able to work here as a means of helping, is just a whole lot better,” she says.
“It’s time to give back.”