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Top end appoints new chief nurse

The Northern Territory Department of Health has appointed Karen Parish (left) as its new chief nursing adviser in a revamped role.

The chief nursing and midwifery officer will now report directly to the department’s chief executive. The officer, together with the chief medical officer, will be responsible for professional clinical matters and quality and safety.

The strengthened role is seen as a win for the representation of nursing in the top levels of the department.

Former state and territory chief nursing and midwifery officers told Nursing Review in June that the position required more investment and better access to decision makers.

Parish, the former director of nursing and midwifery at Calvary Public Hospital in the ACT, has also held senior positions in South Australia.

She was director of extended care and nursing at Julia Farr Services, director of nursing and patient services at Repatriation General Hospital, and executive director of nursing and midwifery at Southern Adelaide and Adelaide Health Services.

Parish holds a Masters of Nursing Studies and has research interests in end-of-life care. Her most recent publications have centred on the quality of end-of-life care in the acute setting and the care trajectory of elderly patients in the acute setting.

She has also been co-chair of the Older People Clinical Network in SA and surveyor with the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards.

Parish said she was excited about potential of the redeveloped executive position to represent nursing in the territory. Dr Greg Rickard was the NT’s principal nursing and midwifery adviser for eight years before stepping down in March last year.

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