Dr Rhona Winnington

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Student Experience Leader

Phone: 09 921 9999 ext 7123

Email: Rhona.winnington@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

Room AA251
North Shore Campus
90 Akoranga Drive

ORCID: ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6504-2856


PhD (Sociology) Auckland
MA (Sociology) Massey
BA Hons (Sociology) Auckland
BSc (Hons) (Social Policy) Salford, UK
Registered Nurse UK
Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice UK

Memberships and Affiliations:

Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand


I am a registered nurse with a background in emergency medicine, general surgery and more recently community palliative care. I am also a sociologist with a keen interest in the fields of institutional power, deviance and labelling. The combination of nursing and sociology offers a continually shifting lens through which to examine our practices in supporting those at end-of-life and how our clinical obligations contain and constrain choices at this life point.

Teaching Areas:

HEAL811 Integrative Research MNSc
NURS987 Transition to Practice (Research dissertation)
NURS702 Community, Complexity & Health

Guest Lectures
HEAL842 Context of Aging: Rights of the Older Adult at end-of-life

Research Areas:

Areas of research interest:
Death and dying (all aspects)
Palliative care/end-of-life care
Assisted dying
Patient choice
Power relationships in healthcare decision-making

Areas of supervision:
Foucauldian Discourse Analysis

Research Summary:

My research focuses on death and dying as a natural life event and the barriers and obstacles that preclude free choice at this life point. Specifically, I consider the relationship between institutional power and individual choice when faced with life limiting illnesses; together with what could be best care outcomes for those who seek the right to assisted dying. I examine the role nurses play in facilitating patient choice at end-of-life and their responsibilities in terms of advocating for patient rights within current legislative frameworks. I also consider the social and clinical consequences of assisted dying legislation.

Current Research Projects:

  • Assisted dying/euthanasia: currently I am looking at what the social and clinical consequences may be if assisted dying legislation is introduced into New Zealand.
  • Palliative care for chronic illness: I am looking at palliative care provision for those with chronic diseases in New Zealand.
  • InterRai data: evaluating InterRai data in relation to palliative care need/provision.
  • Teaching and Learning: meeting the needs of Graduate Entry Nursing students.

Grant received:

  • FHES Summer Studentship Award: When is it time to refer to palliative care? Assessing the correlation between symptom presentation and end-stage chronic disease in the residential aged care setting in New Zealand. $6000. (2019)
  • FHES Grant: Assisted dying: the unseen burden of expectation: a case study. $11500. (2019, ongoing)
  • FHES Grant: Designing for learning - development and evaluation of a graduate entry nursing curriculum using design-based research. $20,000. (2019, ongoing)


  • Bradwell, H.L., Winnington, R., Thill, S., & Jones. R.B. (2020). Longitudinal diary data: six months real-world implementation of affordable companion robots for older people in supported living. Human Robot Interaction (HRI) conference: Real World Human-Robot Interaction, Cambridge University, UK, 23-26 March 2020 (LBR abstract accepted).
  • Winnington, R., & MacLeod, R. (2020). Assisted Dying: Family Experiences of Burden, Expectation and Stigma Following a Legally Assisted Death and the Potential Impact This May Have on Decision-Making in New Zealand. International Conference on Hospice and Palliative Care, Sydney, 3-4 December 2020 (abstract accepted).
  • Winnington, R., & MacLeod, R. (2019). Assisted dying: family experiences of burden, expectation and stigma following a legally assisted death and the potential impact this may have on decision-making in New Zealand. SAANZ Conference: Sociology for Everyone Mātauranga nohoanga ā-iwi ki te katoa. The University of Auckland, NZ, December 6, 2019 (abstract accepted).
  • Macdiarmid, R., Merrick, E., & Winnington, R., (2019). Developing, using, and refining technology enhanced problem-based learning. Supporting postgraduate students in an accelerated nursing programme to think like a nurse in Aotearoa. ASCILITE Conference, 3-6 December 2019, Singapore. (abstract accepted).
  • Bradwell, H.L., Edwards, K.J., Winnington, R., Thill, S., & Jones, R. (2019). Companion robots for older people: the importance of user-centred design demonstrated through observations and focus groups comparing preference of older people and roboticists in South West England. BMJ, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032468 .
  • Winnington, R. (2019). The assisted dying movement: how media platforms influence our response to events that challenge the boundaries of contemporary social control. In I. Lamond (Ed.). Death and the Evental: International perspectives and critical discussions. (accepted).
  • Winnington, R., & Holroyd, E. (2018). Commentary: The socio-political debate of dying Today in the United Kingdom and New Zealand: ‘letting go’ of the biomedical model of care in order to develop a contemporary Ars Moriendi. Nursing and Healthcare, 3 (1), 67-68.
  • Winnington, R., Holroyd, E., & Zambas, S. (2018). The socio-political debate of dying Today in the United Kingdom and New Zealand: ‘letting go’ of the biomedical model of care in order to develop a contemporary Ars Moriendi. Societies, 8, 3: 65.
  • Winnington, R. (2017). Patient choice at end-of-life in the UK and New Zealand: Inequalities in practice produces fear and vulnerability for some individuals. CDAS Conference: Death at the margins of the state. University of Bath, UK, June 10, 2017.
  • Winnington, R. (2017).Patient choice as illusion: The deviance of choice in end-of-life care in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. British Sociological Association Conference: Recovering the social. University of Manchester, UK. April 4, 2017.
  • Winnington, R. (2013). ‘A performance of appearance’. SAANZ Conference: Re-imagining sociology, re-imagining society. University of Auckland, New Zealand. December 9, 2013.
  • Winnington, R. (2013). Men, masculinities & appearance medicine. TASA Conference: Reflections, inspirations and aspirations. Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. November 25, 2013.


2006: University Prize – Best Undergraduate Student – School of Health Sciences/Counselling, University of Salford, UK

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