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Frances Hughes

2001-02 Harkness Fellow Chief advisor for nursing New Zealand’s Ministry of Health

Harkness Project Title: Advanced Nursing Practice: Lessons and Comparisons for New Zealand

Mentor: Linda Aiken, Ph.D.

Placement: University of Pennsylvania

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Frances A. Hughes, a 2001-02 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is chief advisor for nursing in New Zealand’s Ministry of Health. She is responsible for leading all government nursing policy initiatives in New Zealand, including nurse prescribing, primary health care nursing, and nurse practitioners. She represents New Zealand on international committees and has been part of the New Zealand delegation to both World Health Organization and Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting. Prior to her current appointment, she served as senior advisor (Nursing) with the Ministry’s Personal Health. Hughes has 20 years of experience in the New Zealand health service working as a health clinician manager and educator, and has done extensive research into workforce development. She is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Technology, Sydney, looking at the role of interest groups in policymaking. She is also a fellow of both the College of Nurses Aotearoa and the Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses and is an accredited New Zealand Nurses Organisation nurse clinician. Hughes has represented nursing in New Zealand and the Ministry of Health on national and international committees. She is also Full Colonel of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps.

Project: Hughes explored the uses of advanced nursing practices in the U.S., and issues such as regulations, professional education, funding, and differences between states.  She reviewed literature and government documents on advanced nursing practice, made site visits, and interviewed nursing leaders for context on the issues and on different models of nursing practice.  She also conducted a second project on comparing New Zealand hospitals’ performance against international benchmarks, for which she replicated an analysis of the International Hospital Outcome Consortium Research using New Zealand data.

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Massey University Distinguished Service Award, 2013
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, 2012-2013 (Researching the preparation of health professionals for psychosocial response to natural disasters, at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey)
  • Principal Advisor, Mental Health, New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006
  • Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to mental health, 2005
  • Professor and Director of Centre for Mental Health Research, Policy and Service Development, University of Auckland, 2004
  • Joint Chief Advisor Nursing and Professor of Nursing, New Zealand Ministry of Health/University of Auckland, 2004

Current Positions: Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Queensland Health (Updated 1/2014)

E-Mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications

Hennessy JL, Hughes F. Appreciative inquiry: a research tool for mental health services. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2014 Jun;52(6):34-40; quiz 58-9. 

North N, Leung W, Ashton T, Rasmussen E, Hughes F, Finlayson M. Nurse turnover in New Zealand: costs and relationships with staffing practises and patient outcomes. J Nurs Manag. 2013 Apr;21(3):419-28.


Hughes F. Mental health nurses and consumers of mental health services: shared challenges. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2013 May;51(5):4-5.


North N, Hughes F. A systems perspective on nursing productivity. J Health Organ Manag. 2012;26(2):192-214.


Benson J, Pond D, Funk M, Hughes F, Wang X, Tarivonda L. A new era in mental health care in vanuatu. Int J Family Med. 2011;2011:590492.


Hughes F. Nurses' contribution following an emergency. Nurs N Z. 2011 Sep;17(8):33.



Hayes LJ, O'Brien-Pallas L, Duffield C, Shamian J, Buchan J, Hughes F, Laschinger HK, North N. Nurse turnover: a literature review - an update. Int J Nurs Stud. 2012 Jul;49(7):887-905.


Hughes FA, Bamford A. Providing nursing leadership in a community residential  mental health setting. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2011 Jul;49(7):35-42.


Hughes F. Easy way to reach out to the pacific islands. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment  Health Serv. 2011 Apr;49(4):10.


Hughes F. Mental health in the Pacific: the role of the Pacific Island Mental Health Network. Pac Health Dialog. 2009 Feb;15(1):177-80.


Hughes F. Better care for people with intellectual disability and mental illness. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2009 Feb;47(2):8-9.


Patel V, Garrison P, de Jesus Mari J, Minas H, Prince M, Saxena S; Advisory group of the Movement for Global Mental Health. The Lancet's series on global mental health: 1 year on. Lancet. 2008 Oct 11;372(9646):1354-7.


Hughes F. Leadership in mental health nursing. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2008 Sep;46(9):8-9.


Hughes FA, Thom K, Dixon R. Nature & prevalence of stalking among New Zealand mental health clinicians. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2007 Apr;45(4):32-9.


Hughes F. Contemporary nursing in New Zealand. Nurs Health Sci. 2007 Mar;9(1):3-4. Revi


O'Brien-Pallas L, Griffin P, Shamian J, Buchan J, Duffield C, Hughes F, Spence Laschinger HK, North N, Stone PW. The impact of nurse turnover on patient, nurse, and system outcomes: a pilot study and focus for a multicenter international study. Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2006 Aug;7(3):169-79.


Hughes FA. Reconnecting with policy: requirements for survival as a mental health nurse. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2006 Aug;44(8):30-6.


O'Brien AJ, Hughes FA, Kidd JD. Mental health nursing in New Zealand primary  health care. Contemp Nurse. 2006 Feb-Mar;21(1):142-52.


Hayes LJ, O'Brien-Pallas L, Duffield C, Shamian J, Buchan J, Hughes F, Spence Laschinger HK, North N, Stone PW. Nurse turnover: a literature review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2006 Feb;43(2):237-63. Review.

Hughes F. Policy--a practical tool for nurses and nursing. J Adv Nurs. 2005 Feb;49(4):331. PubMed PMID: 15701147.

Benson J, Pond D, Funk M, Hughes F, Wang X, Tarivonda L, “A New Era inMental Health Care in Vanuatu,” International Journal of Family Medicine, Volume 2011

Stone, P., Tourangeau, A., Duffield, C., Hughes, F., Jones, C., O’Brien-Pallas, L., Shamian, J. “Evidence of Nurse Working Conditions: A Global Perspective.” Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 4 p.120-130


Hughes, F., Grey.  “Cultural Safety and the Health of Adolescents.” BMJ 2003, 9(327). 

Hughes, F., Lockyer, H. “Evidence and engagement in the introduction of nurse prescribing in New Zealand.” Nurse Prescribing, 2(3) p.131-136.

Hughes, F., Calder, S. “Development of Nurse Practitioners in New Zealand.” The Nurse Practitioner Series, 1(2) p.13-25.

Hayes, L.J, O'Brien-Pallas, L., Duffield, C., Shamian, S., Buchan, J., Hughes, F., Spence Laschinger, H. K., North, N., Stone, P. W. Nurse Turnover: a literature review.” International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2006; 43: 237-263.

Hughes FA.  “Health Care Delivery and Relationships: Lessons from the USA,” Health Care Analysis 2002.

Hughes FA. “A Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy- Nursing Caucus” Te Puawai College of Nursing NZ 2002; pp.14-15.

Hughes FA. “Nurses Respond to Crisis in America” Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand 2006; p.26.

Hughes FA. “Nurse Practitioners in New Zealand”, New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2002