Pursue Your Passion
It was a billboard for the University of Canterbury’s Bachelor of Health Sciences that Suli Tuitaupe saw as a way into a career in healthcare.
Now a registered nurse and a clinical health promotion team leader, Tuitaupe left a long-standing career in the aviation industry to pursue his passion for helping people.
What motivated you to return to study?
I was a flight attendant for a good 12 years, and worked as a group fitness instructor for Les Mills. After some time overseas working in the Middle East I felt like I needed to come home, and in 2013 I saw a billboard for the University of Canterbury’s new Bachelor of Health Sciences. I was always passionate about helping people, so I went for it.
What did you learn during your time studying?
Through that degree I learnt about health inequities and developed a passion for Pacific health. I wanted to see how I could improve outcomes for people.
I was always looking at things from an illness prevention perspective but wanted an overall look at health. So after I finished the Health Sciences degree in 2015 I went back and did the two-year nursing degree through UC and Ara Institute of Canterbury, so I could see things from a clinical viewpoint.
Suli Tuitaupe - Registered Nurse
I did not think eight years ago that I would be where I am now. Getting the degree from UC allowed me to change directions, which was awesome.
How did being in the tertiary environment help you to figure out what you wanted to do?
It gave me the confidence, insight and passion to work within the community, and that’s how I ended up in the roles I’m in now. I did not think eight years ago that I would be where I am now. Getting the Bachelor of Health Sciences from UC allowed me to change directions, which was awesome.
What do you do now?
I work as a Practice Nurse at Eastcare Health in Aranui, and as the clinical and health promotion team lead with Tangata Atumotu Trust, a local Pacific NGO. Within the organisation I manage a team of five nurses and eight health promoters and community support workers who are active in the community.
Working in healthcare has given me the opportunity to help our Pacific communities in areas of public health and illness prevention and creating 'out of the box' initiatives that are applicable to them, their families, and within their world view.