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Due to the unfolding coronavirus situation and, in accordance with official advice from authorities, the commencement of the next Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program has been postponed to 19 October 2020. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

About the program

The Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program challenges nurses who are passionate about advancing their career, while giving them the confidence to lead change in a rapidly reforming environment and make a difference to their community. Participants are developed and empowered through personal development, career coaching and learning sets. Graduates of the program will be equipped with the skills to lead health workplace cultures through innovation, redesign and change and have the ability to develop high performing teams that have a culture of success and achievement. For more information, including program objectives, outcomes and selection criteria please refer to the program flyer.

Program modules

  • Nursing leadership and strategy
  • Operational management and systems tools
  • Health economics and financial management
  • Clinical governance
  • Human resource management and communication

Apply now

Applications for the next program intake, commencing on 19 October 2020, are now open. Apply now for this exclusive opportunity or register your interest to receive more information as soon as it is released.


Program speakers

Speakers for the October 2020 program will be announced shortly – stay tuned! In the meantime you can check out our February 2020 speakers below. You can read more about these renowned leaders and view their session topics in the February 2020 Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program Speaker Booklet.

Professor Christine Duffield FACN

Professor Christine Duffield FACN

Australian College of Nursing President and Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management, UTS & ECU

» About me

Professor Christine Duffield FACN is an internationally acclaimed nursing workforce researcher and Australia’s leading voice on the impact of nursing workload and skill mix on patient outcomes and the quality of patient care. Christine joined the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Board in 2013 and is currently the President of ACN.

Christine is the Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University and the University of Technology Sydney. Christine is a highly accomplished international researcher with significant experience in the health and education industries in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Christine is one of the top 10 most-cited Australian and New Zealand nursing and midwifery professors.

Christine focused on transforming the nursing sector over the course of her 40-year career. During this time, she has worked extensively with state and federal decision-makers as well as internationally, with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), to drive change and innovation in health care delivery. As a result, she is highly regarded by practitioners as a researcher who understands the world in which they work and can translate results into practice and policy.

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Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer

» About me

ACN CEO, RN, M.Mgt, Dip.App.Sci (Nursing), Acute Care Cert., FACN, FCHSM, Wharton Fellow, MAICD

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN is a renowned leader and a passionate CEO who has shaped the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to become a prominent and influential professional organisation. As well as leading a strong and collective voice for the nursing profession to improve patient outcomes and the social determinants of health for all Australians, Kylie is also driven to improve gender equality and diversity as well as promoting the importance of women in leadership roles both nationally and internationally.

Kylie’s distinguished career spans almost three decades, and has seen her hold Executive positions in the largest health services in NSW and VIC. Through her commitment to reform, transformational change and leadership development, she has been awarded honorary Professorships from Monash University, Deakin University, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and Federation University.

Kylie is the first nurse to be appointed by the Federal Minister as a Board Director of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA). She is a Board Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), as well as serving Ministerial appointments to the Aged Services Industry Reform Committee (IRC) and the Health Translation Advisory Committee (HTAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Dedicating her career and purpose to empowering others, Kylie has received widespread recognition and received multiple awards including the 2017 ACT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award for Social Purpose and Enterprise and 2018 Western Sydney University’s prestigious Alumni Award for Professional Excellence.

Kylie is an inspiring leader with a flair for inspiring others and promoting a socially responsible and progressive culture. A motivational executive, Kylie has led thousands with her holistic, innovative and transformational approach to leadership, focusing on building resilience and empowering people to meet organisational challenges.

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Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF)

Former Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

» About me

RN RM BA MNA Grad Bioethics, Adv Dip Arts FCN FRCNA FACHSM (Hon)

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF) is the former Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, a role she commenced in August 2015. She was previously the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Nursing, a position she was appointed to in May 2012 following six years as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with NSW Health.

Debra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology, Master of Nursing Administration and Graduate Certificate in Bioethics. She also holds an Advanced Diploma of Arts (History/French) and a governance and risk management qualification.

During her career Debra has gained broad management and clinical experience including as a clinician in remote and rural Australia, as CEO of a rural health service, general manager of the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney as well as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with the South Australian Department of Health.

In 2005 Debra was selected to attend the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Fellows Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Her contribution to nursing and health care has been recognised by an Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor.

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Dr Jennifer Bichel-Findley

Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FACN

Director of Health Services Management, University of Technology Sydney

» About me

HScD, MN, MPH, GDipN, BAppSc, DipAppSc, CHIA, RN

Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FACN has been employed in the health service industry for over 45 years in clinical, educative and managerial roles, and understands how technology and digitisation can influence patient outcomes and service delivery efficiency in the complex health care environment. Having worked on several local, state and national health informatics activities, she is not only committed to supporting data driven decision making at the local level but also major health reform through innovation and digital health initiatives at a state and national level. She is a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) and received the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) Distinguished Service Award in 2019 for her outstanding contribution to HISA and the profession of health informatics.

Jen was the inaugural Director of Digital Health & Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Health, and has co-authored chapters addressing health and nursing informatics in nursing texts. She is currently a Board Director and Secretary for the newly created Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH), and Chair of the AIDH NSW Branch, AIDH Nursing and Midwifery Community of Practice, and CHIA Education Committee. Internationally, Jen is Chair of the Health and Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Global Conference Education Committee, and Vice President Special Affairs for the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). Jen is a Fellow of both the AIDH and the Australian College of Nursing.

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Karen Cook

Karen Cook FACN

Senior Nursing and Midwifery Adviser, Office of the Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

» About me

Karen Cook FACN has been a registered nurse for almost 40 years and is currently Senior Nursing and Midwifery Adviser in the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at the Australian Government Department of Health where she is responsible for providing strategic advice on nursing matters and representing the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office at key forums.

Her current projects include development of the National Nursing Strategy and providing secretariat for the Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Reference Group. In recent times she managed the project to develop the National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services and was a key adviser for Australia’s Future Health Workforce Report – Midwives.

She is also deputy chair of the Department of Health Disability and Carers Network, a group of Health staff who are interested in progressing issues for people with a disability and people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.

In her spare time Karen is a marriage celebrant and event MC.

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Adjunct Associate Professor Susanne Hawes FACN

Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN

Australian College of Nursing Board Director and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, NT

» About me

MRNC, RN, BHlthSc, Grad Cert (Disability), EMBA
Greenbelt Six Sigma, CoachU Dip

Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN has worked in the health and welfare sector for over 36 years as a clinician, manager and leader. She loves the challenge of transformational change in health care and taking staff and patients on that improvement journey.

Sue’s experiences in health have been varied giving her a less than traditional pathway to become the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Top End Health Service, Northern Territory, and more recently being appointed as the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for NT Health.

Sue’s proudest contribution to nursing was leading the ‘Take the Lead’ program for NSW Health, which aimed to strengthen the Nursing/Midwifery Unit Manager role across the state.

Sue is a Board member and Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management.

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Mark Kearin FACN

Mark Kearin FACN

Manager Member Organising Team, ANMF

» About me

Mark Kearin FACN is a nurse professional with over 25 years’ experience in senior nursing and heath executive roles in major health services in NSW and QLD. Mark prides himself on his analytical, data mining, financial, workforce and project management skills which have enabled informed decision making for improved patient outcomes and effective service delivery model implementation.

Mark’s exceptional skills in workforce modelling, skills mix analysis and understanding of the industrial framework underpinning acute, aged care and primary and community health settings has advanced him as a sought after expert in the workplace, as well as lecturing in the tertiary sector. Mark has an innate understanding of using data to support decision making, financial management of health care with a focus on case-mix and activity based funding models.

Mark’s contribution to the nursing profession in Australia extends to his appointment as a Non-Executive Director on the Nurses and Midwives Health Insurance Board and a Council Member of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

Mark has been a trailblazer in his areas of expertise throughout his career. He was the first Nursing Unit Manager in NSW to trial unit based budgeting and the first nurse within the heath service to have a dual role of a Nursing Director and Business Manager within a clinical stream across a number of facilities, paving the way for nurses in NSW to be respected as dual professionals.

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Dr Lynette Cusack MACN

Dr Lynette Cusack MACN

Chair Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

» About me

RN, midwife, PhD, MHA, BN, DN,MRCN Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide

Dr Lynette Cusack MACN is an Associate Professor in the Adelaide Nursing School. Her research focus is on the contemporary role of the nurse/midwife in a range of different contexts; evaluating models of practice, including impact on the health care system, interdisciplinary team and patients’/women’s experience. Lynette is a member of the International Collaboration on Occupational Resilience (ICOR) and has been involved in developing models of workplace resilience for nurses/midwives. Lynette provides practice based research support to nurses and midwives at a major metropolitan hospital in South Australia. Other teaching and research contributions include leadership and management, professional practice development and disaster response. Lynette previously worked in a range of community health settings, including home nursing, community health centres and in an executive role in drug and alcohol services. Lynette also has many years of experience in nursing and midwifery regulation.

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Samantha Jakimowicz MACN

Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN

Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

» About me

Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN is a Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She coordinates leadership and clinical subjects in the Bachelor of Nursing, as well as develops postgraduate online learning resources. Samantha is a registered nurse with clinical and research experience in intensive care. Samantha’s research interests and expertise lie with compassion, empathy, patient experience and nurse well-being. She has published extensively on these topics. Samantha is the current convener of the Workforce Resilience and Sustainability Portfolio within the Centre for Nursing Research (UTS) and is leading further research into compassionate leadership and nurse well-being within some NSW Health facilities.

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Flavia D'Ambrosio

Flavia D’Ambrosio

Senior Director, Workforce Culture and Leadership

» About me

Flavia D’Ambrosio is the Senior Director of Workforce Culture and Leadership at Canberra Health Services and first joined the team in 2011. Flavia is a qualified and experienced trainer/adult educator, and consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the learning and organisational development fields. Flavia has worked in federal government, the community sector and as a consultant. She is passionate about improving workplace culture through developing leadership and management capabilities and engaging with staff.

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Dr Christine Dennis

Associate Professor, Flinders University

» About me

Dr Christine Dennis is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry.

Christine is skilled in health care management, strategic and operational planning, clinical governance, patient safety, and health policy.

Christine is a strong business development professional and holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) focused in International Business and Strategic Planning from the University of South Australia. In 2019, Christine moved into academia full-time to contribute to the growth and development of our emerging health leaders.

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Nightingale Challenge scholarships

Nursing Now has launched the Nightingale Challenge which aims to have at least 20,000 young nurses and midwives, aged 35 or under, benefiting from leadership and development training in 2020, which marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and has been officially declared as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization.

The Nightingale Challenge is calling on large employers of nurses globally to provide leadership and development training for 20 young nurses and midwives in 2020. This will give young nurses the skills they need to play an even more influential role in global health.

To find out more about the challenge download the Nightingale Challenge brochure or head to the Nursing Now website.

How to get involved

We are inviting organisations to partner with us to fulfil the challenge requirements by offering subsidised registration rates for our Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program ($4,000) and Nurse Executive Leadership Program ($7,000). Contact leadership@acn.edu.au for more information.

Young nurse leaders
As the lead organisation for Nursing Now in Australia, we are also proud to support the challenge by providing five $1,000 scholarships for the Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program and five $1,500 scholarships for the Nurse Executive Leadership Program to eligible applicants aged 35 or under. To find out more contact leadership@acn.edu.au.