Former nurse Anne Milton will be a junior minister at the Department of Health, Nursing Times understands.
Ms Milton has been a shadow health minister since 2007 and was a member of the health committee from 2005 to 2006. Prime minister David Cameron has made her a parliamentary under-secretary of state for health.
It is not yet known whether her brief will include nursing.
Ms Milton worked in the NHS for 25 years, including as both a hospital and district nurse, after training at Bart’s Hospital in London. She was once a Royal College of Nursing steward.
In an interview with Nursing Times this year, she said all registered nurses should have degrees. She said: “We haven’t published a policy yet – [graduate-only entry might be introduced by] 2011 or 2013 and a half – but there’s no doubt about it that all registered nurses need a degree.”
Ms Milton has described the idea of all nurses taking a professional pledge – as proposed by the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery – as an “insult to all good nurses”.
She said: “In areas where standards are poor it is naïve to believe it will make any difference to improving care.”
She has also told Nursing Times nurses should be involved with commissioning.