Canada’s national Health Minister Jean-Ives Duclos announced on August 23 that Leigh Chapman has been appointed as the new chief nursing officer (CNO).

The CNO position, which was eliminated by the previous Harper government in 2012, was brought back to “provide strategic advice from a nursing perspective to Health Canada on priority policy and program areas, including health workforce planning and stability, long-term care, home care, palliative care, mental health, alcohol and drug use, models of care, scope of practice and competencies,” as stated in the federal government’s press release.

“Improving our health care system includes addressing the shortages in health human resources we are seeing across the country. Reinstating the federal CNO recognizes the central role nurses continue to play in health care in Canada through their many contributions and expertise,” said Minister Duclos. “Dr. Chapman will play a crucial role in stabilizing the nursing workforce, by ensuring the perspective of nurses is included at the national level, helping to shape the overall health policy work of Health Canada.”

A graduate of the doctoral program at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Dr. Chapman also has a Master of Science in Clinical Health Sciences from the Nursing Graduate Program at McMaster university, and has a background in direct service provision, including critical care and community care.