We are privileged to have CNMO Professor Leanne Boyd write for The Nurse Break.

Professor Leanne Boyd’s nursing career has been unique and rewarding, with a blend of academic, clinical and executive leadership roles. She is currently the Executive Director of Learning and Teaching, Nursing and Midwifery, (Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer) of Eastern Health in Victoria.

Lee joined the Cabrini Executive as Executive Director of Nursing and Cabrini Institute in 2014. She has a clinical background in critical care and was appointed as Director of Education and Staff Development at Cabrini in 2012. She has over 20 years experience in health professional education and research. Previously, she worked at Monash University as Director of Academic Programs (Middle East) and Head of Department Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice.

Lee holds post graduate qualifications in Education and Critical Care from Monash University and a Masters in Tertiary Education Management from Melbourne University. Her PhD investigated health program evaluation models. She is currently studying a Masters in Business Administration and supervises PhD students. Lee is keen to facilitate a learning and research culture within Cabrini with a focus on safety and high quality care.

She has also been the chair of Workforce Sustainability for the Australian College of Nursing (ACN).


Please tell us about how you ended up where you are today!

I believe that nursing is a privileged career. You have the opportunity to support and care for patients and their families when they are most vulnerable. You get insights into people’s lives that others rarely see and you can make a real difference if you partner in an effective way with the individuals and the communities you are caring for.

I did most of my studying at Monash University, graduating in 1992 as an RN and then doing a Grad Cert in Critical Care in 1994. From there I did a Masters in Nursing, a Grad Cert in Higher Education, a PhD followed by a Masters of Tertiary Education Management at Melbourne University. I am currently completing an MBA. I have moved between academia and clinical work for most of my career.

Some of my most memorable work has been in Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and the Middle East.

Advice for those wanting to work in management.

If you would like to work in management or education I would suggest that you map out the formal learning plan that you will need to succeed and find yourself a couple of respected mentors to advise and guide you.

Tips for future CNMO’s

I think that CNMO’s need to establish broad skillsets and networks in nursing/midwifery, education, business and leadership. Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way to stretch and grow. The most important thing from my perspective is to be agile in your thinking, open to new ideas and listen to the nurses and midwives on the floor who we represent.

A day in the life of a CNMO?

No two days are the same which is one of the things I love about my role. Most days include attending meetings, working with teams to improve patient and staff safety, developing guidelines and policies, researching and trialling innovative models of care,  listening to our patients, community and staff and providing advice as required.

What are the most rewarding parts of your area of work?

The most rewarding part of my work is to see the evolution of the nursing profession and to watch our next generation of nurses develop. Opportunities to improve systems and processes for people on the floor are also exciting.

What are the most difficult parts of your area of work?

The most difficult parts of my work involve supporting nurses who are experiencing either personal or professional challenges. I think that poor mental health is having an incredible impact on our healthcare workforce and I would encourage everyone to actively commit to self-care in this area.

We thank Professor Boyd for sharing these insights!

If you know of anyone who might like to share their stories and careers, please email us their details –> thenursebreak@gmail.com