Nursing executive

  • The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Nursing and Allied Health leadership team is made up of the Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer, three directors of Clinical Operations, (covering Access and Wards, Surgery and Critical Care and Ambulatory), a Clinical Lead for Quality and Safety, a Clinical Lead for Nursing Workforce, a Director of Nursing Education, Director of Nursing Research and a Nursing Informatics Officer.. Collectively, the team leads nursing staff professionally and operationally through the divisions of nursing structure. 

    Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer

    Maria Flynn

    RN (Registered Nurse), RM (Registered Midwife - UK), Dip HEM, BA (Hons) – HealthCare Studies, MSc – HealthCare Management, Q Fellow (UK) 

    Maria Flynn joined the RCH in July 2018 as Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer. In this role, she has responsibility for facilitating research, innovation and education, quality and safety improvement, advocating for professional and evidenced-based practice and clinical standards and enhancing recruitment, retention, training, development and succession planning. 

    Maria is a registered nurse and midwife with over 30 years’ experience of the National Health Service in the UK and has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management. She has held leadership roles in nursing, midwifery and allied health and worked in general and commissioning management and as a quality performance manager and accreditor. She has led a multitude of services within acute, primary care, mental health and ambulance services. 

    As part of the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) Exchange, Maria worked in Sweden and Austria to study European methods for sharing and learning from clinical incident management. Before starting at the RCH, Maria commenced a Clinical Doctorate Research Fellowship (PhD), using Quality Improvement Science methodologies to enhance the programme Fundamental Care in Hospitals. She is delighted to continue pursuing her dream of contributing to healthcare in Australia.


    Director, Clinical Operations - Access and Wards

    Sheri Waldron

    PGDip, Bsc (Hons), BN, DipMan, RN.

    Sheri was appointed as a Director of Clinical Operations and Chief Information Nurse in 2010 prior to the move to the new facility and initially oversaw the Emergency Department, Paediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care and Access.

     In 2013 her title changed to Director Clinical Operations Access and Wards and her portfolio extended to include the inpatient wards Transition service, Parent Accommodation and Rehabilitation.

     Her current role predominantly oversees the inpatient wards including the Emergency Department ,Mental Health, Access including the partnership with the Northern Hospital providing Care Closer to Home.

     Sheri has a post-graduate degree and a Bsc Honours degree in Advanced Neonatal Clinical Nursing , she trained in the UK in adult nursing before making the successful transition into Paediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care.

    Sheri was the Nurse Unit Manager of the Neonatal Unit at RCH for 10 years and was integral in the training and education for nursing staff with regards to both high frequency oscillation and jet ventilation; RCH being the first NICU to undertake these ventilation strategies for many years. Sheri advocated and was successful in the recruitment for the first Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in NICU in Victoria.

    Sheri received the Chairman’s Medal in 2006 in recognition of her commitment to neonatal nursing care at RCH.   

    Sheri currently sits on the Board for Ronald McDonald House Charity, a position she has held for 8 years.


    Director, Clinical Operations - Surgical Services

    Kelly Bernard

    B.Sci(Nsg), RN


    Director, Nursing Research

    Professor Fiona Newall

    PhD, MN, B.Sci(Nsg), RN

    Fiona completed her undergraduate nursing training at Curtin University in Western Australia. In 1998, Fiona moved to Victoria and commenced working in the field of paediatric thrombosis and anticoagulation. Fiona completed her PhD (2009) and Master of Nursing (Research, 2005) at The University of Melbourne, with both research projects exploring questions identified from her clinical practice.

    Fiona has published extensively within her field of clinical and research practice, and is internationally recognised as a Clinical Researcher.

    In addition to her position as Director of Nursing Research at the RCH, Fiona continues to work clinically within her field of paediatric anticoagulant management.


    Director, Ambulatory Services

    Dani Smith

    PostGradDip(Paed), DipMan, RN

    Dani commenced her career at the RCH as part of the Graduate Nurse program on the General Medicine ward. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Paediatrics and a Diploma of Management. 

    From 2010 – 2012 Dani was the Nurse Unit Manager of RCH@Home and in 2012 she was appointed Nurse Unit Manager of Sugar Glider.  In 2015, Dani was appointed Director of Ambulatory Services, with responsibility for leading Specialist Clinics, Complex Care Hub, Day Medical and Day Oncology, Wallaby ward, the Immunisation Service and Palliative Care.

    In 2013 Dani received the Mary Patten Award, which recognises a member of the nursing team who has demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills in their field, leadership and a strong commitment to patient care, while demonstrating the RCH Values.

    Dani is committed to improving access to and the quality of patient care in both hospital inpatient, non-admitted and community settings.


    Director, Nursing Education

    Clinical Lead, Quality and Safety

    Nadine Stacey

    MN, PGDip Critical Care, DipHSc, RN

    Nadine is the Clinical Lead, Quality and Safety for Nursing and Allied Health, and works collaboratively with the Clinical Lead, Medicine to enhance and improve service and safety for consumers at the RCH.

    Nadine has extensive clinical operational experience across public and private hospitals. Over the last three years, Nadine was the Director, Clinical Operations - Division of Medicine at the RCH. Prior to this Nadine worked in clinical director positions at Health Care and Epworth Hospitals.

    Nadine's minor thesis, as part of the Masters of Nursing program, focused on nurses experiences with ethical dilemmas in the intensive care setting.


    Clinical Lead, Nursing Workforce

    Rosemary Aisbett