Former San director of nursing recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

Rose-Marie Radley.

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Sydney Adventist Hospital’s longest-serving director of nursing, Rose-Marie Radley, has been recognised in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List.

Ms Radley was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to community health and to the nursing profession.

Brett Goods, CEO of Adventist HealthCare (which owns and operates Sydney Adventist Hospital), said, “I am delighted Ms Radley has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours. She was a transformational leader who modernised nursing training, hospital administration and clinical services.”

Ms Radley’s close connection with the hospital dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Her grandparents played a pivotal role in establishing the hospital, and her mother received nursing training there. In 1953, Ms Radley followed in their footsteps; she graduated as a nurse at Sydney Adventist Hospital and then worked in the public hospital system for a short while. She also travelled overseas, gaining valuable experience working in hospitals in Canada, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Her innate skills, intuition, compassion and progressive thinking combined with the innovative approaches she obtained abroad were all put to good use when she returned to Australia. She recommenced work at Sydney Adventist Hospital where she played a key role in the organisation’s period of modernisation.

Her role as director of nursing involved transitioning the institution to new facilities while accommodating a growing number of patients. “With grace, Ms Radley guided the hospital through a period of intense change,” Mr Goods explained.

“She had the challenging task of coping with the demands of accelerating technological advancements placed on her nursing workforce, as well as caring for rapidly increasing numbers of patients under new, shortened length-of-stay requirements.

“She also led the hospital through an intense period of transition when an independent commission implemented a new process of accreditation which all hospitals in NSW had to comply with.”

Under her leadership, Sydney Adventist Hospital was the first private facility in NSW to receive accreditation from the Australian Council of Hospital Standards. She helped facilitate the development of new and improved clinical areas within the hospital, including commissioning an angiography laboratory, implementing a cardiac surgery program, rebuilding the intensive care unit, and the commissioning of a coronary care unit, emergency unit and a day surgery unit.

She also oversaw the redevelopment of the maternity unit, operating theatres and recovery, and the commissioning of a renal dialysis unit, paediatric sleep centre and the rebuilding of the school of nursing.

Ms Radley also committed to upgrading the nursing profession and thereby enhanced the quality of nursing care practised at the hospital and beyond. She made a significant contribution to nursing education by facilitating the transfer of the hospital-based nurse-training program to a tertiary-level program.

“Ms Radley is one of the most loved and revered members of the hospital community, touching the lives of countless patients and health professionals both here and overseas,” said Mr Goods. “Her concern for others and belief in the power of education have left a lasting impact on the nursing culture at Sydney Adventist Hospital, which is still evident today in the care we provide our patients.”

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