Former nurse Anne Milton will be a junior minister at the Department of Health, HSJ 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.
Ms Milton worked in the NHS for 25 years, including as a hospital and district nurse, after training at Bart’s Hospital in London. She has also served as 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 sister publication Nursing Times nurses should be involved with commissioning.