Meet the Speakers

Meet the Speakers

#BACCNConf2022 Keynote Speakers

We are excited to present this year's renowned Keynote speakers who will be joining us from across the world to share their stories and experiences.


  1. Prof. Dr. Jos M. Latour
  2. Helen Ballantyne
  3. Annette Kennedy
  4. Rachel Kenna
  5. Christine Sheehan

Prof. Dr. Jos M. Latour

Professor in Clinical Nursing & Associate Head of School - Research

School of Nursing and Midwifery | Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences | University of Plymouth

Jos Latour is a professor in clinical nursing at the University of Plymouth (UK) and professor in paediatric nursing at Hunan Children’s Hospital, Changsha (China). Jos has been an intensive care nurse for over 30 years, with a special interest in children and families. His clinical post is based at the Derriford University Hospital in Plymouth and Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton in the UK where he is the director of the Clinical Schools aiming to drive research forward with clinical staff.

The research programmes of Jos are related to patient and family-centred care, end-of-life, emergency and sepsis. Jos has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. He is an associate-editor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Frontiers in Pediatrics and international editorial board member of several other international journals.

Internationally, Professor Latour holds visiting professorships at Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA) and Curtin University in Perth (Australia).

Follow on Twitter: @JosLatour1


With Jos’s extensive research into family centered care, I’ve asked him to talk about family and friends’ involvement in the patient’s critical care journey as this can have profound consequences with regards to care decisions, delivery, and outcomes. Yet this is something that varies significantly across countries. His presentation title is "On the fringe of ICU: what we have not yet improved"

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Helen Ballantyne

Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist, NHS

Helen graduated with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, qualifying as a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) in 2005. She has worked nationally and internationally, gathering experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics.

In 2013 she qualified as a human centred nurse, initially working in cardiothoracic intensive care. Currently she works as a Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist. Day to day she supports living kidney donors through the process of donation. She also holds an on call role, managing the logistics of matching, retrieving and transplanting abdominal organs from deceased donors.


While her primary role is now within the NHS, Helen remains a RVN and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health. She is the current Chair of the UK One Health Coordination Group and she regularly lectures and writes about concepts and ways of working that may be shared between the professions to support clinical and professional practice. Her first textbook, Veterinary Nursing Care Plans: Theory and Practice was published in 2018. She completed a MSc in Healthcare Management in 2021 and is looking for her next big project!


Helens keynote presentation will celebrate the recent collaboration between the BACCN and the veterinary nursing sector. It’s a collaboration that demonstrates the professional maturity of nursing and provides an opportunity to advance the principles of One Health to the benefit all patients and those who care for them.

She will be explaining what One Health means for nursing, how it fits in the global context, why it’s important and how we can all contribute.

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Annette Kennedy

President Emeritus International Council of Nurses (ICN)

Named one of the 100th most outstanding women nurse and midwifery leaders 2020 by Women in Global Health, Annette Kennedy was 28th President of ICN 2017-2021 representing 28 million nurses after serving four years as Vice President.

Annette was a Commissioner on the WHO Independent High –Level Commission on NCD’s (2017- 2019) and is a board member of the Nursing Now Campaign Board. ICN was instrumental together with WHO in partnership with Nursing Now and served as a board member of the Nursing Now Campaign Board

Annette is a Ministerial appointment to Slaintecare Advisory Implementation Committee, 2018-2021 (Irish Health & Social Care 10-year Strategy).

She is a former President of the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN), an independent organisation consisting of Nursing Associations in over 30 European countries, representing over six million nurses.

Annette was the Irish Congress of Trade Unions appointment to the Board of Dublin City University and on the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Annette is a registered Nurse and Midwife with a Dip in Management and a BA in Nursing Studies and an MSc in Public Sector Analysis. She received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 2017 and Honorary Doctorates from Dublin City University 2020 and Toronto University in 2022. She received WHO Leadership Award from Dr Tedros, Director General in 2021.

Annette will share her experience of the power of Global Nursing Unity and the value of collaboration and sharing of information to influence policy makers.

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Rachel Kenna

Chief Nursing Officer in Ireland

Rachel Kenna is the newly appointed Chief Nursing Officer in Ireland. She is a Registered Childrens and General Nurse (RCN/RGN) and has extensive clinical and managerial experience spanning 29 years in both in Ireland and the UK.

Rachel has worked as a Deputy Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health since 2018 and her primary area of responsibility was nursing policy in the area of patient systems and clinical governance.  Rachel previously held the Director of Nursing post in Irelands largest Childrens hospital, Childrens Health Ireland at Crumlin. 

Rachel has a real interest in Nursing and Midwifery policy but also in wider health policy and is educated in a wide range of areas to support this.  She holds a MSc in Child Protection and Welfare and a BSc in Nursing Management.

Rachel’s other educational qualifications includes a Higher Diploma in Professional Practice, critical care, Leadership, Quality in Healthcare and a Diploma in Human Rights and Equality and a Professional Diploma in Governance. Rachel is selected as a Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar for 2021.

The Chief Nursing Officer role has an important strategic leadership and influencing role that includes the provision of professional policy direction and evidence-based expert advice for the nursing and midwifery and general health policy agenda.  The role incorporates professional regulation, strategic workforce planning and provides an exciting opportunity to develop and strengthen the collaborative working across government and the wider public service.

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Christine Sheehan

Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Critical Care and Outreach, Galway University Hospital

Christine Sheehan is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Critical care and outreach in Galway University Hospital in Galway Ireland. Original trained in the United states completing BSN and critical care nurse registration more than 30 years ago. Completed MSn in Trinity College Dublin and Advanced Practice at National University of Ireland in Galway. 

Christine has worked international in critical care in the US, Ireland and the middle east holding the role of staff nurse, clinical facilitator and practice development to Advance Nurse Practitioner. She developed the specialty modules for the first blended learning program for the post graduate diploma in critical care at NUIG.

Christine was the first Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Critical care and outreach in Ireland to commence this role in 2015. The Critical care outreach service has development from I ANP to 5 ANP and 2 Candidate ANP today. 

Christine has a strong interest in risk management and quality improvement in healthcare and critical care to improve the patients journey. Active in policy and guideline development both locally and internationally. Most recently a member of the Early warning system review group nationally and expert panel member of the development of the new Irish National Early Warning Score and response system. 

She remains dedicated to her own professional development and is currently completing a post graduate diploma in Non-invasive ventilation and a Fellowship with ISQUA (the International Society for Quality in Health Care).

Christine presents regularly in multiple forums throughout Ireland and believes in fostering nurses to find their passion, and support them through developing new avenues for nursing.

She is an active committee member of IACCN and EFCCN as the Irish representative along with membership in BACCN and AACN.

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