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Awarded for service to Health
Born: 28 March 1951 - Tamworth, New South Wales
Entered on roll: 2017
“It’s nursing that makes a difference”
Karen Linegar was the first nurse and the second woman president of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) and was an expert advisor to the International Society for Quality in Healthcare.
As a mother of two, Karen started general nursing training in Sydney as a mature age student, aged 26. When Karen moved to Launceston in 1978, some of her prior nursing training was not recognised, so she repeated a significant portion of the training. Karen excelled and was awarded the Launceston General Hospital’s (LGH) Gold Medal for Theory and Practice. In 1982, Karen achieved the LGH’s Gold Medal for Midwifery while working full-time and supporting her two teenage sons.
During the 1980s, Karen worked as a Senior Nurse in intensive care at the LGH, undertaking stints as the After Hours Nurse manager and the Charge Nurse, and completed an Intensive Care Unit Certificate.
Recognising that nurses would need tertiary qualifications, Karen completed a Bachelor of Applied Health Science at the Tasmanian Institute of Technology.
Karen relocated to North West Tasmania as the Assistant Director of Nursing at the Mersey Hospital in Latrobe. During this period, she completed a Master of Health Administration and a Bachelor of Business majoring in human resource management.
In 1994, Karen was appointed Director of Nursing at the North West Regional Hospital and completed a Graduate Diploma in Commercial Law, while maintaining a role as Honorary Clinical Teacher at the University of Tasmania, holding Board positions in the Royal College of Nursing Australia, and becoming a Surveyor and Council Member of the ACHS. In 2011, Karen became the President of ACHS.
Karen’s commitment to tertiary study and research resulted her appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Tasmania. Karen led the development of the Graduate Nurse Training Program, Clinical Nurse Educator Program, Nurse Management Leadership Program, and implemented an interdisciplinary teaching program. She is currently the Tasmanian Health Service’s Executive Director of Nursing, North West.