Nurse practitioner Chris Helms receives the Rosemary Bryant Award

16 June 2018

Chris Helms (PhD in nursing), received the Rosemary Bryant Award on 16 June, in recognition of his contribution to the nursing profession, dedication and advocacy of nurses working in primary health care.

The prestigious award was established in acknowledgement of the significant and long-term contribution of Dr Rosemary Bryant (AO) to the nursing profession. As the first Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, the 26th president of the International Council of Nurses consulting to the World Health Organisation and APNA’s Patron, Dr Bryant is a respected leader and distinguished ambassador for nurses working in primary health care in Australia.

APNA is delighted to extend the 2018 Rosemary Bryant Award to Chris Helm, a strong advocate that shines a light on the role of nurses working in primary health care. His work increases the profile of our nurses, encouraging them to work to the top of their scope of practice.

Chris, a registered nurse and endorsed nurse practitioner in private general practice hails from the United States where he trained as an adult and geriatric nurse practitioner in the University of Wisconsin. After immigrating to Australia in 2007, he followed his passion to advance the role of primary health care nurses and nurse practitioners by participating in several national and international committees.

He was an early member of the ground-breaking team that established the very successful Canberra Nurse Walk-in clinics that provide free advice and treatment for people with minor illness and injury. The clinics are a welcome alternative to other medical and health services, seeing more than 36,000 patient presentations each year.

“This is an exciting time for nurses because government regulation is starting to open the paths for nursing at large and to extend the role of nurse practitioners in primary health care,” he said.

“The community is telling us that they desperately want more advanced nursing clinicians in primary health care. We know there is a real need for a viable, visible, robust nurse practitioner workforce which is why there’s a large group of people working hard behind the scenes to advance our roles.

“As part of my PhD research, I established and validated a global specialty clinical learning and teaching framework for Australian Nurse Practitioner students which can be integrated into primary healthcare practice.”


The Australian Primary Health Care Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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