Ministry of Health Appoints Chief Nurse

Friday 23 July 2010, 8:09AM
By Ministry of Health

Deputy Director-General of Sector Capability and Implementation, Margie Apa, today announced the appointment of Dr Jane O’Malley to the position of chief nurse for the Ministry of Health.


"The role of Chief Nurse is an important role in the clinical leadership team of the Ministry and in New Zealand’s health and disability sector. Nursing makes up a significant proportion of our workforce. Every day nurses are playing their part in delivering quality care and look to their collective leadership across District Health Boards, primary and community providers and education to support and encourage them in the workplace. For the Ministry of Health, successfully delivering on the Government’s priorities requires us to have a clinical leader who understands how provider environments work, has a proven record in change in both primary and secondary care settings and is well respect among their peers to get the best out of our nursing leadership.


I am delighted that we have been able to recruit someone as skilled and experienced as Jane to this key position for the Ministry," Ms Apa said. "We carried out an extensive international and national executive search to find the right person for this role and its taken longer than what we would normally expect. It was important to us to get this right and I'm delighted that we found that person here in New Zealand. Jane's academic experience and commitment to developing the nursing profession provides a sound platform for her to provide leadership to nurses throughout New Zealand. 


"Most of Jane's career has been in medical, surgical and mental health nursing in tertiary centres in New Zealand. Since November 2005 she has been the Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the West Coast District Health Board where there's a strong focus on primary and community service delivery. She has the benefit of first-hand experience of the challenges of nursing in both large city hospital settings as well as provincial hospital and rural primary/community settings," Margie Apa said. 


Jane holds a Masters Degree in Delivery of Nursing Services from New York University. Her PhD from Victoria University of Wellington considered the impact of context on the delivery of acute inpatient mental health nursing care utilising action research and critical social theory. In 2007 she was recipient of an NZNO Award of Honour for services to nursing. 


Dr O'Malley will take up her position with the Ministry of Health in late September. She said the key priority for her coming into the role will be building effective working relationships with the Ministers office, and with Ministry and heath sector colleagues. She said she was looking forward to gaining a greater appreciation of how the new look MOH will operate, and developing a shared understanding of how the chief nurse, the MOH nursing innovations team and sector-wide nurse leaders will work together, and with others, to provide clinical leadership into planning, implementing and evaluating national health services.


West Coast District Health Board Chief Executive David Meates says Jane’s appointment is an exciting opportunity.


"I am very pleased to see such a highly motivated and skilled nursing leader appointed to the Chief of Nursing position within the Ministry. I congratulate Jane on her appointment. Jane has an extensive background in nursing and has a passion and commitment to developing nurses and the nursing workforce," he said. 





Highlights of Dr Jane O'Malley's nursing career include:

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine 1997 – 2005

President of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) 2001 – 2005

DHB/NZNO Committee of Inquiry into Safe Staffing and Healthy Workplace member 2006

DHB/NZNO Safe Staffing and Healthy Workplace Unit governance group co-chair

Rural Innovation Fund 2007/8 co-recipient

DHBNZ Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit demonstration site leader at West Coast DHB August 2009

Ministry of Health and West Coast DHB Sustainability Project clinical advisor and steering group member 2008-2010

Better, sooner, more convenient’ primary health care initiative team member 2010

Co-manager of secondary services (working successfully alongside the Medical Director and the General Manager 2009 - 2010

Canterbury Initiative for clinical pathway referrals from primary to secondary and tertiary care Clinical Leader (alongside the PHO Medical Director).