Ros commenced her nursing career in 1981. She held posts in clinical medicine, paediatric and surgery before taking up senior teaching and management posts in nurse education.
She returned to service as a professional development manager and then assistant director in an acute trust. After that she went to NHS Direct as Lead Nurse, helping to establish the service nationally. She then went on to become Professional Officer in the office of the CNO (England) where she led on a range of issues, including acute care, research and Modernising Nursing Careers. Immediately prior to taking up the post of CNO, Ros was Director of Nursing, NHS Connecting for Health. This strategic role saw her working closely with the Department of Health, Health Authorities and professional organisations in England to provide executive level leadership on nursing, midwifery and AHP issues inside and outside the organisation.
In January 2010, she was appointed to the post of Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland and Lead Director for HAI, Professional Regulation Care Support and Rights and all Policy pertaining to nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. She stepped down from this post in December 2015 to pursue other interests. She is currently working with Parish Nursing Ministries UK as its CEO and has been working to spread and sustain the movement across the UK. She is also serving as a non-executive director at Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust and a lecturer with the Open University. She brings a wealth of strategic and policy experience to her position with the AfPP.
Ros was awarded Dr (Hons) by Leeds Beckett University in June 2015 for Services to the Profession.