Rosemary Bryant has been appointed Australia’s first Commonwealth Chief Nurse.

The Department of Health and Ageing has established the new position in a bid to recognise the important role played by nurses in delivering effective health care

Ms Bryant is the current Executive Director of the Royal College of Nursing Australia and has held a range of national and international leadership roles, including Second Vice President of the International Council of Nurses.

“Ms Bryant has had experience in the area of nursing education, policy for the regulation of nursing and has practical experience as a consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Nepal Nursing Council,” said the Secretary of the Department, Jane Halton.

The Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), Ged Kearney has welcomed the announcement, saying nurses across the country will benefit from it.

“Nursing plays a role in so many of the Government’s programs, it is essential there is a nursing representative at a senior level in government to provide input and ensure quality health care is accessible to all people and families,” she said.

“It is also important for Australia to be officially represented in international nursing forums by their Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.”

In her new role, Ms Bryant will give advice on policy initiatives for aged care, the nursing workforce, education and training as well as primary and acute services.

The date of Ms Bryant’s departure from RCNA has not yet been determined.

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