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Former NZ advisor appointed QLD’s chief nurse

Dr Frances Hughes will step into the role from March, following a lengthy search.

Following a six month search, Queensland Health has appointed Dr Frances Hughes, a former health advisor to the New Zealand government to be the state’s chief nurse and midwifery officer.

Hughes, a former Chief Advisor (Nursing) to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and consultant to the World Health Organisation will commence with Queensland Health on March 6.

For several years Hughes held the position as the Commandant-Colonel of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corp and was the first Professor of Nursing at the University of Auckland.

Director-General of Queensland Health, Dr Tony O’Connell said Hughes will bring extensive knowledge in health policy development, research, and global health issues to her new role.

“Dr Hughes has played a major role in leadership in nursing in New Zealand and was instrumental in the development of government policy around nurse prescribing, primary health care and rural scholarship schemes, nursing workforce, nurse practitioners and telenursing,” he said.

She was the first nurse in the world to receive a Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy from the Commonwealth Fund in New York in 2001and was recently awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar. She was also made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health in 2005.

Hughes holds the academic positions of Adjunct Professor at the Auckland University of Technology, and a visiting professorship for University of Sydney.

“I have been privileged to have studied and worked with many colleagues in Australia, and I look forward to now working in Queensland Health,” she said in a statement.

Acting Chief Nurse, Cheryl Burns occupied the departmental position during the lengthy recruitment process, following the resignation of Associate Professor Pauline Ross in June 2011.

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