Professor Westwood, who will take up the new post at the start of September, said she was looking forward to expanding her work with the foundation to “create new and inspiring opportunities” for nurses and midwives.
“I am excited to work with the foundation to create new and inspiring opportunities for nurses and midwives”
She has been working at the foundation, which raises funds to provide scholarships for nurses, midwives and health visitors to study, as the chief operating officer since 2017.
Having qualified as a nurse in 1983 and a midwife in 1987, Professor Westwood went on to complete a master’s degree in health psychology in 1996 and a PhD in nursing in 2010.
Professor Westwood has undertaken a plethora of roles throughout her nursing career, including clinical academic training programme lead for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals at the University of Southampton for which she was promoted to professor.
She is also a Florence Nightingale Foundation leadership scholar and remains a “very proud” registered nurse.
She is taking on the top job at a crucial time for the foundation ahead of the bicentenary celebrations of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 2020, which has also been designated the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife by the World Health Organisation.
Speaking about her appointment, Professor Westwood said: “I am thrilled and honoured to now lead this amazing organisation.
“I am excited to work with the foundation to create new and inspiring opportunities for nurses and midwives.”
Dame Yvonne Moores, chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, had stepped up to become executive chair when former chief executive Ursula Ward left the organisation in March.
The foundation said Ms Ward’s departure was a “personal decision”.
Commenting on Professor Westwood’s appointment, Dame Yvonne said: “I am really delighted that Greta has been appointed as the foundation’s new chief executive.
“At this exciting time for nursing and midwifery, all her skills and experience will ensure the foundation contributes fully as we head towards 2020 and beyond.”
Professor Westwood will begin her new role on 2 September 2019.