Ros Moore qualified in 1981 before becoming a nurse teacher and has worked in numerous roles since including supporting England's Chief Nursing Officer between 2004 and 2009, leading on acute care, quality, productivity, workforce development and research work.
In her new role, Ms Moore will be responsible for providing national professional, policy and organisational advice on nursing, midwifery and public health nursing matters within the Scottish government.
She will lead on policy on preventing healthcare-associated infections, professional regulation and patient care.
She said: ‘These are exciting and challenging times - and I can't wait to get started. I am looking forward to working with nurses, midwives and the health professions to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.'