Taria Viliua

Taria Viliua

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Advanced Nursing Practice student
Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)

Ngāpuhi, Tainui

As a nurse she can create positive change, says nursing alumna Taria Viliua who now works with Māori cancer patients as a clinical nurse specialist at Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā.

“I have a passion for working for and with my Māori culture, and want to make a difference to people in need of help. I wanted to be that person who can make that positive change, and a great way to do this was by working in the medical field. What initially attracted me to nursing was the opportunity to work in a diverse range of fields in the health sector.”

Taria, who was awarded a Waikato Tainui Tertiary Scholarship and a Waitemata District Health Board Māori Health Scholarship to support her studies, says she hopes to inspire other young Māori to work in healthcare.

“Receiving these awards reflected the amount of support I received throughout my nursing degree and helped contribute to my success. The Waitemata District Health Board Māori Health Scholarship in particular was a true reflection of the hard work I put into my degree and was a good way to finish my final year knowing that my work is being noticed by AUT and DHBs. This has motivated me to keep working hard, so that I can make my whānau and Māori culture proud.”

Choosing AUT
Coming to AUT to study nursing was an easy decision for Taria who completed her Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) in 2020, followed by a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing Practice in 2021 before enrolling in a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science in Advanced Nursing Practice. She also completed the nursing entry to practice programme with the Waitakere District Health Board.

“I chose to study at AUT as I valued the reputation of the health sciences programmes, and the support and hands-on approach to allow for students to strive for success. I felt it was the right place for Māori student support and allowed me to stay close to my whānau during my studies.”

She feels grateful for the guidance and support she received throughout her studies.

“I was fortunate to have great support from my whānau, AUT staff and fellow students, and I met many great role models throughout my journey of studying. Their aroha, manaakitanga and continuity of support made it possible for me to succeed and be where I am today with my nursing. Having the support and belief around me allowed me to be who I am.”

Fully supported to succeed
AUT’s nursing degree is well-structured to set students up for success, Taria says.

“Nursing is a programme I highly recommend. It offers students many opportunities to develop and upskill to achieve success and grow into competent graduate nurses who are ready for future practice. The support structures that are in place allow students to work hard in an environment where they are fully supported.”

Being able to gain practical nursing experience throughout the three years of her degree was a highlight of Taria’s studies.

“This helped me develop my skills inside and outside of nursing, and grow into the person I am today. Through the range of clinical placements I completed I discovered where my passion lies.”