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Tributes paid to Northern Ireland’s first CNO

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Northern Ireland’s first chief nursing officer, Dr Mona Grey, died this week at the age of 98.

In 1960 she became Northern Ireland’s first CNO and subsequently played a significant role in the restructuring of the health services in the country.

More recently Ms Grey helped to establish a research chair in nursing at the University of Ulster and made a significant contribution to the new NMC standards for the care of older people.

Both Northern Ireland health minister Michael McGimpsey and current Northern Ireland CNO Martin Bradley paid tribute to Dr Grey.

‘Dr Grey’s commitment to nursing was unwavering and at the age of 98 she continued to exert her influence and contribute to the debate and discussion about the future of the profession,’ said Mr Bradley. ‘I spoke to her only last week and her passion and determination were undimmed.’

Ms Grey was also the first salaried secretary of the RCN in Northern Ireland and served for many years as the leader of the college there, prior to her appointment as CNO. She was the inaugural recipient of the RCN Northern Ireland Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

‘Mona was without doubt the most influential and inspirational nurse leader in the history of Northern Ireland,’ the RCN said in a statement. ‘Mona’s wisdom, professional expertise, sense of humour and deep love of nursing and the Royal College of Nursing will be greatly missed.’

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