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Grant's nursing achievements remembered.

FRIENDS AND colleagues from the Ministries of Education and Health, the Defence Force and nursing institutions from throughout the country gathered last month in Wellington to pay tribute to Lieutenant Colonel Jan Grant, who died suddenly on February 5.

Born a twin in 1941 (her sister Lyn only lived a few days), Grant had a distinguished nursing career, becoming one of the first people to gain a degree in nursing from Massey University. In 1971, she became involved in nursing education and helped establish and was the first head of the School of Nursing at the Manukau Polytechnic. She later joined the Department of Education's Tertiary Division to advise on nursing education, ensuring the links between education and nursing remained.

Grant joined the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC) in 1974 as a Territorial charge sister. She was involved in many field operations as a territorial, setting up annual camps in places like Tologa Bay. These camps provided hospitals and health care services to local communities, addressing waiting lists in the region by performing surgery under canvas. She also was involved in the overseas exercise of the first field hospital in Tonga.

Grant became a major in 1978 and a Lieutenant Colonel in 1980. She served as honorary nursing officer to His Excellency the Governor General, the late Sir David Beattie and was appointed Colonel Commandant of the RNZNC from 1989-1993. In 1992, she was awarded the Royal Red Cross in the Queen's Birthday Honours' military list for her contribution to nursing within the corps and the wider community, one of the few women to receive this high award.

Grant joined the Department of Education in 1988 as an education officer (nursing) with responsibility for nursing education programmes throughout the polytechnic system. She was a foundation member of the Ministry of Education, becoming in 1989 a senior tertiary analyst in what was then called the Tertiary Charters and Funding Unit. This unit was responsible for allocating funding to universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and private training establishments. In later years, she was part of the Ministry's Tertiary Resourcing Group, involved in the monitoring and auditing of tertiary enrolments.

Speaking at her funeral service, Ministry of Health chief nursing adviser Frances Hughes said Grant had been involved with 16 interdepartmental working groups, contributing to policy work on such things as the transition to nursing degree education, the establishment of direct entry midwifery, the development of community mental health support worker training, and the implementation of recommendations of the Ministerial taskforce on Nursing. "I valued Jan as a colleague and friend and also for her accessible, quality advice and wisdom," said Hughes.

In acknowledgement of her important contribution to nursing and health studies, the Manukau Institute of Technology has created the Jan Grant Award for Nursing Research. It is to be awarded annually to a lecturer to support research in the nursing and health studies field.

* Thanks to a number of sources for this information.
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Title Annotation:news and events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Mar 1, 2003
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