The Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer

Since July 2014, Karen Bradley has held the position of Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer (CNMO). This role is the professional link and advisor to the Western Australian (WA) Minister for Health, the Director General of the WA Department of Health (WA Health), as well as the professional lead for the State’s 36,800 nurses and midwives working within public, private and non-government health services, education and other sectors.

As CNMO, Karen represents and promotes the interests of nursing and midwifery in WA nationally and internationally through membership of the Australian and New Zealand Council of Chief Nurses (ANZCCN).

The CNMO is the lead for the WA Nursing and Midwifery Office, responsible for setting the strategic, professional and workforce oriented agenda for the nursing and midwifery professions of WA.

Karen has been a registered nurse for 25 years and has worked in a variety of clinical, health service management and leadership roles within private, public, metropolitan and rural health service settings in WA.

As CNMO, Karen is passionate about working with others to create workplaces where nurses and midwives are empowered to practice to the full scope of their role in a safe, supportive, rewarding and patient focused environment. She has always been committed to learning and developing her own experience, knowledge and skills by seeking out new opportunities.

She is keen to ensure that nurses and midwives are kept focused on using an evidence-base to inform improvement in care delivered and the services provided. Karen believes that the development of a workplace culture that inspires patient-focused, safe, effective, and compassionate care relies on strong nursing and midwifery leadership at every level, in every setting.

Karen is very committed to supporting nurses and midwives to develop their leadership experience, attributes and skills and to embrace leadership roles with the broader health system.

Karen Bradley’s professional and academic background

Karen has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) at Edith Cowan University and then gained a Masters in Leadership (Social Justice) at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Karen currently holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position with the School of Health Science at Curtin University.

Prior to becoming the CNMO, Karen held the position of Area Director Nursing and Midwifery with the South Metropolitan Health Service, providing professional leadership, planning and strategy for a workforce of over 6,000 nurses and midwives. She led the development and implementation of the area health service’s first strategic plan for nursing and midwifery and contributed to the implementation of one of health’s most significant service reconfiguration programs aligned with the commissioning of the new Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Karen was the WA Country Health Service Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery from 2008 to 2011, where she led professional nursing initiatives, workforce planning and reform, clinical programs and health service planning across the area health service comprising over 70 regional and small hospitals and a number of remote area nursing posts and community health services.

Joining WA Health in 2004 as a Senior Project Coordinator with the Health Reform Implementation Taskforce, Karen led and contributed to the implementation of a range of health reform projects including the development of the clinical services framework, health service infrastructure plan, clinical service reforms and leadership development programs.

Karen’s career started as a Registered Nurse at St John of God Hospital, Subiaco where she worked for 12 years, working her way to becoming the Director of Inpatient Services.