From humble beginnings, Adjunct Professor Ward has gone on to become one of the most influential professional health leaders of the country and a formidable, passionate advocate for the advancement of the nursing profession including the delivery of excellence in education.
Her strengths lie in breaking down the walls, reframing the issue for fresh thinking, and bringing people together to create long-lasting solutions.
Adjunct Professor Ward currently serves as CEO of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and CEO of the Australian College of Nursing Foundation. She has led a program of transformation including raising awareness of the profession and building a legacy of nursing leadership, policy, advocacy and social impact, as well as creating hundreds of leadership and representation positions for nurses Australia wide. As such, ACN is now Australia’s beacon for Nurse Leadership.
Adjunct Professor Ward is inspired to ensure nurses from all backgrounds have access to world-class education at all stages of their career. She believes ongoing education is key to nurses working to their full scope of practice, contributing to the design of health systems and providing consumers with optimal care, every time. She holds honorary professorships with 7 leading Australian universities, and has been awarded several fellowships, including a Wharton Fellow, USA.
In May 2023, Adjunct Professor Ward was awarded a Commendation from the Chief of the Defence Force, for her exceptional devotion to military nurses. In August 2023, she raised the statue of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel at the Australian War Memorial, the first sculpture of an individual nurse or woman to be installed at the Memorial.
Adjunct Professor Ward is a multi-award winner. In 2022, she was named National Winner of Executive / Team Leader of the Year and Overall National Winner at the Outstanding Leadership Awards. In the same year, she was named the ACT Winner of the Excellence in Women’s Leadership Awards by Women and Leadership Australia. She has been named Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year for Purpose and Social Enterprise.
Adjunct Professor Ward holds a Masters of Management and is a Registered Nurse, Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing, Honorary Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management, Wharton Fellow and Graduate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.