Sydney Adventist Hospital’s longest-serving director of nursing, Rose-Marie Radley, has been recognized in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honors List. Radley was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia 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 Miss Radley has been recognized in the King’s Birthday Honors. She was a transformational leader who modernized nursing training, hospital administration, and clinical services.”
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, Radley followed in her family’s footsteps; she graduated as a nurse at Sydney Adventist Hospital and then worked in the public hospital system for a short while. She also traveled 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 organization’s period of modernization.
Her role as director of nursing involved transitioning the institution to new facilities while accommodating a growing number of patients. “With grace, Miss Radley guided the hospital through a period of intense change,” 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 New South Wales had to comply with.”
Under Radley’s leadership, Sydney Adventist Hospital was the first private facility in New South Wales 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 commissioning a coronary care unit, emergency unit, and day surgery unit.
Radley also oversaw the redevelopment of the maternity unit, operating theaters, and recovery unit as well as the commissioning of a renal dialysis unit and pediatric sleep center and the rebuilding of the school of nursing. Radley also committed to upgrading the nursing profession and thereby enhanced the quality of nursing care practiced at the hospital and beyond, hospital leaders explained, adding that she made a significant contribution to nursing education by facilitating the transfer of the hospital-based nurse-training program to a tertiary-level program.
“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,” Goods said. “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.”