College of Health staff

Dr Sue Adams staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43353

Dr Sue Adams RN, BSc (Hons), MSc, HV, PGCert, PhD

Senior Lecturer

School of Nursing

My nursing career commenced in the 1980s in London, UK, and since then I have held a number of clinical and leadership positions in diverse areas of practice. In each of these positions, my focus has been on improving service delivery to meet the health needs of the population served. Leadership, change management and the facilitation of teams have been core to my professional work for the last three decades. Primary health care service development, including workforce development and services to support people managing their long term conditions, have been the core focus of my work in New Zealand since arriving here in 2005. In New Zealand I have worked at various levels of the health care system, including primary care, PHOs, Planning & Funding, and in tertiary education. I have been here at Massey University since 2012.

I am a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing, Albany. I teach evidence-based practice and long term conditions at postgraduate level,  supervise post graduate students undertaking their practicums and doctoral research students. My doctoral research, using institutional ethnography, investigated the establishment of nurse practitioner (NP) services in rural primary health care. I have a particular interest in the development of the nursing workforce, including NPs, in providing health services to those underserved, rural and marginalised communities.

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Contact details

  • Location: 3.20, Quad A
    Campus: Albany


  • Registered Nurse - St George's Hospital, London (1984)
  • Bachelor of Science - King's College, University of London (1984)
  • Masters of Science in Nursing - King's College, University of London (1988)
  • Post graduate certificate in Health Visiting - Oxford Brookes University (1991)
  • Post graduate certificate in health - Auckland University (2005)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (2017)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Nurse practitioner development in rural primary health care

Primary health care, service & workforce development

Long term conditions

Insitutional ethnography


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Community Child Health (111704): Health and Community Services (111708): Health Promotion (111712): Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Nursing (111000): Primary Health Care (111717): Public Health and Health Services (111700)


Primary health care nursing - workforce and career development

Service development in primary health care

Institutional ethnography

Facilitation of teams & change management

Research Outputs


Adams, S., & Carryer, J. (2017). Institutional ethnography: Nurse practitioners in rural primary health care in New Zealand.. SAGE Research Methods Cases Education (online collection).
[Journal article]Authored by: Adams, S., Carryer, J.
Carryer, J., & Adams, S. (2017). Nurse practitioners as a solution to transformative and sustainable health services in primary health care: A qualitative exploratory study. Collegian. 24(6), 525-531
[Journal article]Authored by: Adams, S., Carryer, J.
Adams, S., Carryer, J., & Wilkinson, J. (2015). Institutional ethnography: An emerging approach for health and nursing research. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand inc. 31(1), 18-26
[Journal article]Authored by: Adams, S., Carryer, J.


Adams, S. (2017). Nurse practitioners in rural primary health care in New Zealand: An institutional ethnography. (Doctoral Thesis)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Adams, S.


Adams, S., Carryer, J., & Wilkinson, J.(2016, October). Establishing nurse practitioners (NPs) in rural health in New Zealand: An institutional ethnography. .
[Conference]Authored by: Adams, S., Carryer, J.
Adams, S., & Carryer, J.(2013, November). Nurse to nurse practitioner (NP): Institutional ethnography as an emerging approach to sociological inquiry for the NZ health context. . (pp. 3 - 3).
[Conference]Authored by: Adams, S., Carryer, J.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 3 0


My teaching includes the newly launched Evidence-based Practice paper (168.713) for students on their clinical MN pathway, and the Managing Long Term Conditions paper 1(68.703). Additionally, I supervise students who are undertaking practicums, research reports as part of their masters programme, and doctoral studies.

Courses Coordinated

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Lori Peters - Doctor of Philosophy
    What health sector strategic planning is required for NPs to become mainstream/key service  providers to address the health needs of the NZ population by the year 2030?
  • Natasha Ashworth - Doctor of Philosophy
    What are nurse's socially organised practices inside collaborative teams when working with people with long term conditions ?
  • Rachel Webster - Doctor of Philosophy
    An institutional ethnography of New Zealand's commitment to patient-centred care

Media and Links


  • 07 Dec 2012 - Magazine
    Te Puawai
    NP-led primary health care in Ontario: A model for NZ. Report of short-leave visit to Ontario, Canada explore education of nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner led rural primary health care serv

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