The School's first tutor, Theodora West-Watson came to Wellington already trained at King's College Hospital in London.
Miss West-Watson's replacement in 1932 was Jessie Tomlinson who, in 1929 had been awarded a "Postgraduate Diploma in Hospital Administration and Teaching in Schools of Nursing" after completing a course at the NZ Postgraduate School for Nurses in Wellington. It is appropriate here to summarise the history of this School.
The Postgraduate School was established in 1928 under a Committee of Management representing Victoria University College, the Department of Health and the Wellington Hospital Board. The School was first based at Wellington Hospital, transferring to Molesworth Street in 1940 before moving again to 1 Kensington Street in 1943. It remained there until 1976 when a further move occurred to 28 Hobson Street.
The title of the School was changed to the NZ School of Advanced Nursing Studies in 1970 and in the following year, the Committee of Management was replaced by an Advisory Committee comprising representatives from the Department of Health, the NZ Hospital Board's Association, the NZ Nurses' Association, the Wellington Teachers' College and Victoria University of Wellington.
Returning to the beginnings of the School, two courses were offered. "Hospital Administration and Teaching in Schools of Nursing" and "Public Health". In 1940 a third course was added, "Social Work". Pertinent to this discussion, the first course mentioned was attended by nurses from around New Zealand and generally there were just one or two from Wellington Hospital in any one class. By the 1960s, Hospital Administration and Teaching in Schools of Nursing had been separated and courses were now offered in both introduction to teaching and refresher courses for tutor sisters.
Returning now to the tutors at the Wellington School of Nursing. It was relatively common for tutors already appointed to the staff to take time off to attend the PG School and return with a Diploma of Nursing. However, with increasing numbers of Tutors on staff from the 1960s there were quite a few appointed without a PG Diploma.
In 1973, for example, the tutorial staff comprised fourteen with a Diploma in Nursing, nine without a Diploma, three who were attending the School of Advanced Nursing Studies and another six without Diplomas whose appointment was awaiting approval from the Nurses and Midwives' Board.
Approval for appointment by the Wellington Hospital Matron was always sought from the Nurses and Midwives' Board and was readily given but where applicable, the approval included the note - "As Miss ....... does not hold a Diploma of Nursing, it is recommended that a suitable in-service education programme be arranged to prepare her for this position in the School of Nursing".