Policy Chapters
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The Australian College of Nursing runs Policy Chapters under the expert leadership and guidance of our highly regarded Chairs and Deputy Chairs. The aim of the Chapters is to provide opportunities for nursing leaders and experts to inform change and guide future directions through collaboration.

Each Policy Chapter focuses on a specific issue and draws on the specialised skills and expertise of members of ACN and external stakeholders to work with and influence government and policy makers. We welcome returning Chapter members as well as new members who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to their Chapters in 2021. We are very proud of the work that the Policy Chapters have produced in recent years and are excited by the work being undertaken this year.

Our Policy Chapters in 2021 are:

  • Chronic Disease
    The focus: Nursing and multimorbidity: The role of nurses in improving care for people living with multiple chronic conditions
  • Emissions Reduction
    The focus: Reducing our carbon footprint through nursing leadership
  • End of Life Care
    The focus: The role of nurses in ensuring quality end of life care for older Australians
  • Workforce Sustainability
    The focus: Examining the utilisation of the nursing workforce in Australia

Policy Chapter Publications

ACN’s Policy Chapters contribute to and influence policy development through a variety of documents including position statements, white papers and toolkits. In addition, the Policy Chapters often develop evidence-based articles for publication and inclusion in peer-reviewed journals, highlighting contemporary and emerging issues in health and nursing.

Joining a Policy Chapter

Applications to join a Policy Chapter are currently closed. Please look out for communication from ACN or check this webpage towards the end of 2021 to submit your application to join a Policy Chapter in 2022.

Policy Chapter Chairs


Professor Lisa Whitehead MACN

Chronic Disease: Chair

» About me

Lisa’s research experience over the past 23 years has centred on improving health outcomes for people living with chronic conditions, self-management interventions and working with families to support the management of chronic conditions. Engagement with clinicians and conducting research in real world settings underpin all of her research activities with the aim to implement enduring evidence based change in practice. The majority of Lisa’s research and clinical practice has been in the primary health care setting and collaborations are always multidisciplinary. In her role as Professor of Nursing Research, at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Western Australia, Lisa leads the research group “Improving health outcomes for people living with chronic conditions”. Lisa also holds the roles of Associate Dean Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Director of the Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research, ECU and is an honorary professor of research at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Previous positions include the roles of Head of Department and Director of the Strategy to Advance Research (STAR) in nursing and allied health, a national initiative funded by the New Zealand government.

Lisa has been awarded over $5 million in research funding during her career and is currently an investigator on an $1.11 million grant to explore factors predicting regression from pre-diabetes to normal glucose regulation, funded by the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand.

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Frances Peart

Dr Frances Peart FACN

Emissions Reduction: Chair

» About me

Frances is a registered nurse with a PhD in Organisational Behaviour and nearly 30 years’ experience working in management. With a passion for creating great workplace cultures and developing leadership capability, Frances has worked in many segments of the health care industry including acute hospitals, community services and aged care. Her entrepreneurial spirit has been channelled into creating a startup in-home care service. Frances believes that life is an adventure to be enjoyed: be brave and have fun.

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Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates FACN

End Of Life Care: Chair

» About me

Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates, PhD, RN, FACN, FAAN is jointly appointed as Head, School of Nursing at Queensland University of Technology and Director for Queensland Health’s Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE). Distinguished Professor Yates leads a large competitively funded research program focused on developing workforce capacity in palliative care, and strengthening the nexus between research, policy and practice in palliative care.

Patsy is the immediate Past-President of Palliative Care Australia and is President-Elect of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.  She is a Fellow of both the Australian College of Nursing and the American Academy of Nursing.

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Alanna Geary - policy chapter deputy chair

Adjunct Professor Alanna Geary FACN

Workforce Sustainability: Chair

» About me

Adjunct Professor Alanna Geary is the Executive Director Nursing & Midwifery Services (EDNMS) Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital and Metro North Hospital & Health Service.

Alanna has been the EDNMS of Metro North Hospital and Health Services and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for the past three years but has worked in Queensland Health for 36 years. Alanna was a hospital trained nurse and midwife completing General Nursing Training 1984, Midwifery in 1988, Bachelor of Nursing in 1994 and a Masters of Health Science in 2001. Alanna is a member of the Australian College of Nursing, Australian Institute of Company Directors and Board member of the RBWH Foundation. She was recently elected to be the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Executive Directors of Nursing and Midwifery Forum.

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Policy Chapter Deputy Chairs


Ms Robyn Quinn FACN

Chronic Disease: Deputy Chair

» About me

Robyn is the General Manager of Sydney Pain Management Centre at Parramatta and Sydney Adventist Hospital a position she has held for over 20 years. Robyn initially commence as the clinical co-ordinator for the patients but after completing an MBA advanced to General Manager of the Centres.

Over this time Robyn has been closely involved with the advancement of Pain Management. Robyn was the first nurse and female to be a council Member of the Australian Pain Society, a member of the International Association of Pain Taskforce for Guidelines for Nurse Pain Curriculum.

Robyn is also closely involved  in the area of Quality Management in Health and has been President of the Australian Association of Quality Healthcare for the past two years.

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Emissions Reduction: Deputy Chair

Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer FACN

End Of Life Care: Deputy Chair

» About me

Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer has been registered as a nurse for 23 years and a Fellow and Member of the Australian College of Nursing for the last nine years. Melissa holds an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University, Melbourne.

Melissa’s research focuses on end-of-life care across the lifespan from newborns to older people; and across multiple practice settings including acute care, adult and paediatric critical care, subacute care and rehabilitation. With expertise in qualitative and mixed method research, Melissa’s program of research aims to increase awareness of the challenges associated with the end-of-life care provision in Australia. Her work has explored recognition of dying, clinician preparedness, patterns of death in public and private hospital settings, end-of-life communication and decision-making.

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Dr Craig Phillips MACN

Workforce Sustainability: Deputy Chair

» About me

Dr Craig Phillips has been a registered nurse for 30 years covering clinician, management, academic and research roles. Craig is currently a nurse academic In Clinical and Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. Craig’s research interests are human ethics, care of older persons and health workforce planning, with a particular emphasis on newly qualified graduate nurses. As a mixed methods researcher, Craig’s program of research has explored graduate nurses and transition to practice, health workforce, resilience and burnout, student nurse preparedness and preceptor support. Craig has been a member of the Australian College of Nursing for four years.

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