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Vicki-Lee Tyacke

Head of School of Nursing (Palmerston North)

Portrait of Vicki-Lee Tyacke

UCOL’s new Head of School, Nurse Education (Palmerston North) Vicki-Lee Tyacke has come full circle now leading the school she started out at.

A Manawatu Polytechnic Graduate of 1997, Vicki-Lee Tyacke went on to become a true generalist Nurse before finding her passion for the education profession. Comprehensively registered, Vicki-Lee is able to work in any area where nursing occurs, an opportunity she has made the most of over the years having worked throughout Manawatū, Whanganui and Horowhenua in various nursing roles. 

The year after graduating she began practising as a Residential Aged Care Facility Charge Nurse providing Rest Home, dementia care and hospital level services. In 2001, she picked up a dual appointment with Massey and UCOL to provide clinical supervision for students. In her role as clinical associate for the Bachelor of Nursing at Massey University’s Turitea campus she became involved in the delivery of the Nursing Skills paper within the degree and she realised her heart was in education. 

Vicki-Lee enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in the educational experiences of nursing students and shortly after commencing her Master of Nursing she began lecturing Nursing students at UCOL in 2004. 

“I still remember my first day as a Lecturer 12 years ago. I taught on the very first day of the job which was a bit of a shock but then I realised I could easily do it.”

“One of the things you learn in nursing is that you’ve got to be adaptable, you don’t know what each day will bring and that has certainly become a key part of my practice as an educator.”

Having been in the Nursing Education game at UCOL for over a decade now, Vicki-Lee has worked as a Lecturer and a Programme Leader of the Bachelor of Nursing, and now as Head of School has 23 staff reporting through to her. 

“As the Head of School for the Palmerston North Campus my vision is to create a place where we recognise the value of difference of all team members and support each other to meet our outcomes. It’s the idea that by valuing difference we acknowledge, as a team, we will all get over the line using very different strategies.  I envisage an environment where staff are empowered to work to their strengths and as a result will gain confidence to step outside their comfort zone and take career risks that they would not have previously considered. It is through these considered risks we will excel as a team.”

Having completed a Graduate Diploma of Applied E-Learning in 2014, Vicki-Lee has an interest in blended learning, and is a doctoral research degree candidate through Curtin University, studying the digital literacy of Year 13 Biology students. 

With UCOL colleagues she is also researching Nursing students’ perceptions of aged care and how these perceptions can be utilised to inform curriculum. She says she is very fortunate to be part of a research team where everyone is passionate about the topic.  
Her enthusiasm doesn’t look to be dwindling anytime soon.

“It’s been a great career for me. I’ve worked in many different areas to find my passion and met many people who have allowed me to be involved in their health and educational journey.”

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