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Researcher profile for Elizabeth Ditzel

Research Outputs

Elizabeth Ditzel


Professor Liz Ditzel is a Registered Nurse who loves teaching. My career as an educator spans a variety of healthcare and management roles at Dunedin Hospital including Nursing Tutor, In-Service Educator and postgraduate Critical Care Course Coordinator. As a clinical nurse specialising in intensive care nursing, I held a number of practice and leadership roles including Intensive Care Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and Afternoon Duty Coordinator.

As a working mother I balanced part-time work and study completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Master’s degree in economics and management culminating in my appointment as Lecturer in Management at the University of Otago, specialising in human resource management and organisational behaviour. However, still a nurse at heart, my Master's research explored nurse's mentoring relationships, and my Doctoral thesis examined the effect of a psychological sense of community on the level of job stress and burnout among New Zealand nurses.

My teaching philosophy comes from personal experience of being an adult learner and professional training in intensive care nursing requiring ‘quick thinking’ and ‘smart problem-solving’, especially in an unexpected or emergency situation. I am a strong advocate of experiential and constructivist approaches to learning, for example, as a management lecturer I visited local businesses to find opportunities for groups of students to conduct collaborative research with the owner(s). Many of my earlier publications featured case studies originating from this personal community engagement, e.g. R & R Sports; The Seriously Good Chocolate Company.

As a university academic, I supervised 40 research projects, dissertations and theses at Honours and Masters level in management, business, and health disciplines. Research topics included; police stress, team performance systems, self-employed Maori women, female rugby players & family-friendly work places. Research methodologies included quantitative, qualitative and case-study design. I have examined a good number of dissertations and projects at Master's level, and attended research supervisor workshops and mentored several doctoral candidates.

I am an established author and academic reviewer with more than 70 research outputs - book chapters, articles and international conference presentations - published on a variety of business, education and nursing topics. In 2017 I was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing by the Nurse Education Today journal.

Having returned to nursing education in 2009, my teaching goal is to inspire students to ‘think like nurses’ and equip them with the skills to survive in today’s challenging healthcare environment. Recent research focuses on using creative learning and teaching strategies and mixed-reality technology using HoloLens headsets to develop first-year nurses’ clinical reasoning skills. My personal career highlight was being awarded a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award by the Minister of Education in parliament in 2017.

I am a currently a member of the Research and Postgraduate Committee, internal ethics advisor to the School of Business and Chair of Otago Polytechnic's Research Ethics Committee

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