Qualified as a Registered Nurse, she specialized in acute and critical hospital care and then coordinated pharmaceutical and investigator-initiated ICU research at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. Prof Rickard has held a variety of hospital and university-based research positions and completed a PhD (QUT, 2004) on the impact of duration of intravascular administration set use on infection. Rickard established the Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research (AVATAR) in 2007 as an investigator network to promote high-quality work in this field. The AVATAR Group comprises more than 100 nursing and medical clinicians, laboratory scientists, chemists, statisticians and health economists. AVATAR predominantly undertakes large randomized controlled trials in partnership with hospitals in Australia and has consistently won funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) since 2008. International projects include the largest ever vascular access study - The One Million Global peripheral intravenous catheter Study (OMG Study). AVATAR also has a significant educational focus, with workshops, a Masters level course and a focus on PhD and postdoctoral researcher development. Professor Rickard's awards include induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2013, and election to the prestigious Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015. She has >250 publications including Lancet. Her work focuses on preventing infections and other complications for people with central, peripheral, venous and arterial catheters.