Professional Nursing Committee

The committee responsible for the RCN’s professional work

Professional Nursing Committee election 2021

Elections are currently taking place for eight seats on the committee, with terms of office beginning 1 January 2022. 

The following members have been elected unopposed to the following seats: Mary Codling (South East), Carly Boyce (South West), Dr Carolyn Middleton MBE (Wales), Raymond McMorrow FRCN (West Midlands), Rachel Hollis FRCN (Yorkshire & the Humber) and Tracie Culpitt (Nursing Support Worker).

Following the close of voting on Wednesday 17 November, Suzanne Davies was elected to the Student seat on the committee.

No nominations were received for the Scotland seat on the committee in the first round of this election, and so nominations were reopened. Reopened nominations for the Scotland seat have now closed and candidates have been announced. Voting in this election opened on Wednesday 24 November, closing on Wednesday 15 December. Find out more.

As an RCN member, you can use this page to keep up to date with the Professional Nursing Committee's activity.

Just log in to see the agendas and summaries from previous or upcoming Professional Nursing Committee meetings.

The RCN’s Professional Nursing Committee fulfils a vital role in helping the RCN to achieve its purpose as a royal college. The committee is the decision-making body of the RCN on professional issues and provides leadership on the work of the RCN in this area. It is accountable to RCN Council.

The Professional Nursing Committee has 14 members: one member each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one from each of the nine English regions: East Midlands, Eastern, London, North West, Northern, South East, South West,  West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber. They are elected by members in their country or region.

The remaining two members are from the Student and Nursing Support Worker (Health Care Assistant and Assistant Practitioner) membership categories and are elected by the members of those groups.

You can find out more about the role and remit of the RCN Professional Nursing Committee by reading the terms of reference.

Nursing Matters Podcast

The RCN Professional Nursing Committee produce a twice monthly podcast, Nursing Matters, to unpack nursing news, discuss professional issues and interview RCN members at the forefront of developing nursing practice and the profession. Listen to Nursing Matters.

Rachel Hollis Professional Nursing Committee

Rachel Hollis FRCN - Chair

Member for Yorkshire and the Humber, January 2018 - December 2021

Rachel Hollis is Honorary Nurse Advisor for Children’s Cancer in the Leeds Children’s Hospital at the Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust.

Rachel trained as a Registered General Nurse at St Mary’s Hospital in London. After a short time consolidating her general training there as a Staff Nurse on a general adult medical ward, she returned to her home county of Yorkshire. She went first to Scarborough, and a general children’s ward, in order to test out her intention to move into children’s health care. She went on to train as a Registered Children’s Nurse in Leeds and remained there for the rest of her professional working life as a children’s cancer nurse.

Rachel played an active role in the development of children’s cancer nursing, and children’s cancer services, at the national level in the UK. She represented the RCN on the Guidance Development Group for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) ‘Guidance on Improving Outcomes in Children and Young People with Cancer’ (2005). She went on to become a member of the Advisory Group on the implementation of this guidance at the Department of Health, and subsequently the NHS England Clinical Reference Group for Children and Teenage Cancer.

Rachel is a past Chair of the RCN Paediatric Oncology Nurses Forum and a former Steering Group member of the Children and Young People’s Specialist Care Forum. In this role she has taken a broader role in the development of children’s nursing and health care. She was the lead author of RCN guidance on ‘Specialist and Advanced Practice in Children and Young People’s Nursing’. She was made a Fellow of the RCN in recognition of her contribution to the nursing of children with cancer.

Rachel has a particular interest in international health care and is a member of the nursing group within the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). She is a former Chair of the SIOP Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) Nursing Working Group. In that capacity she has advocated for and worked with nurses from Low and Middle Income Countries in looking to define base-line standards for the nursing care of children with cancer which have been endorsed by the RCN. She has recently become a Trustee of ‘World Child Cancer’, a charity which works to support twinning programmes and capacity building in a number of low and middle income countries. Rachel and the team in Leeds are actively involved in supporting a children’s cancer programme in North West Cameroon.

Rachel is also a Trustee of CLICSargent, the UK’s largest charity supporting the families of children with cancer, and lobbying for improved services nationally.

Outside of work Rachel enjoys travel and walking; ideally combining the two. She is lucky to have the Yorkshire Dales and Moors on her doorstep, and is not too far from the Lake District and Scotland. Further afield she has spent time walking in Europe and in Africa; she has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice!

Siobhan Donald

Siobhan Donald - Vice Chair

Member for Northern Ireland, January 2020 - December 2023

Siobhan is currently the Interim Assistant Director of Nursing at the Public Health Agency, having stepped in to this interim role following five years as Commissioning Nurse Consultant. Prior to her time at the Public Health Agency, Siobhan held a number of roles within Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, from staff nurse through to assistant service manager. Within the RCN, Siobhan has served on RCN Council and is currently a member of the Public Health Forum Steering Committee.

Fiona Sommerville

Fiona Sommerville

Member for Eastern, January 2020 - December 2023

Fiona’s 16-year nursing career has included; working in wards, practice development and clinical practice education at Southend University Hospital. At present she is Clinical Practice Educator and in this role she supports students, newly qualified and overseas nurses. She also works clinically in Post-op Recovery, which enables her to keep in touch with patient care while working with nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

As part of an MSc in Medical and Clinical Education, she researched the experiences of overseas nurses working in the UK, which has assisted in overseas nurses OSCE training.

She advocates the use of simulation for nurses and inter-professional learning. As Clinical Practice Educator, she has developed courses for newly qualified, overseas nurses and multi professionals both at the hospital and also within her secondment to Anglia Ruskin University.

Sue Haines

Sue Haines

Member for East Midlands, January 2020 - December 2023 

Sue is Assistant Director of Nursing (Professional Development, Education and Workforce) at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), she leads the Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Clinical and Professional Development within the Institute for Nursing and Midwifery Care Excellence. She is an Honorary Professor, University of Nottingham, School of Health Sciences and a visiting lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. Sue is an experienced nurse leader in acute care and works proactively to influence and develop nurse education, nurse led research and the development of practice, across health and social care, regionally and nationally, to respond to the changing physical and mental health needs of patients, care home residents, carers and staff. She chairs the Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System’s Nursing and Midwifery Cabinet, and works actively to raise the profile and recognition of nurses and midwives. Sue is experienced in supporting and coaching nurses and frontline care staff, coproducing and developing inclusive approaches to staff engagement, shared decision making, career progression and professional development.

She has specific expertise and experience in talent management through doctoral research, developing clinical leadership and implementing new approaches to inclusive talent management and retention of nurses. Post-doctoral research interests include nursing workforce development, nursing careers, retention, preceptorship and shared governance.

Sue’s role includes responsibility for students in practice learning, she is experienced in education commissioning, recruitment and post-registration career development, including advanced clinical practice.

She is actively involved in the analysis and implementation of international standards for excellence in nursing and a founding member of Nursing and Midwifery Excellence UK (NAME-UK), a network of organisations in the UK leading the pursuit of excellence in nursing practice through credentialing with the American Nurses Credentialing Centre.

Alison Leary

Professor Alison Leary MBE FRCN

Member for London, January 2020 - December 2023 

After spending ten years in science & engineering Prof. Alison Leary undertook an RN diploma at The Nightingale School at St Thomas Hospital (now Kings College London). She attained a Masters in Biomedical Science (Haematology) and worked in acute Haematology services. Prof. Leary obtained a PhD in Clinical Medicine from the University of London (Royal Free & University College School of Medicine).

Prof. Leary writes regularly for the general, trade and academic press. In 2015 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and in 2016 a Fellow of the Queen Nursing Institute and a Winston Churchill Fellow for which she examined high reliability organisations looking at safety. She was awarded and MBE for her work in football spectator safety in 2019.

In recent years she has undertaken various projects around the modelling of complex systems. She works at London South Bank University where she undertakes research but also teaches on a range of post graduate programmes including the Masters in Advanced Practice. She also runs masterclasses for those in practice and supervises post graduate research students. Her interests are in the complexity of healthcare, mathematical models and data science.

Tim Grace

Tim Grace

Member for Northern, January 2020 - December 2023

Tim Grace works in a community mental health service as a Psychological Therapist, where he is a part of the Leadership Team. Though he is an independent prescriber, his main professional interests relate to working with people with voice-hearing experiences, service development, teaching, supervision and research. He has been involved in a number of research studies, though the most notable was working as part of a team whose study was published in The Lancet.

Tim’s clinical role involves providing highly specialist psychological interventions, including cognitive therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for people troubled by their mental health. He provides clinical supervision for a range of professionals and has supervised postgraduate students on MSc university courses and postgraduate CBT courses in the Northern region.

However, the most rewarding aspect of his role is his direct clinical work; he feels very privileged to be in a position to help people whose lives have been affected by trauma and adversity, and has learned considerably from the people he has worked with. Tim also works together with people with lived experience of mental health problems in other settings, such as developing workshops, deliver training to staff, and service development. Clinical leadership is an interesting and important part of Tim’s role, as it allows him to influence patient care across services while still retaining the individual clinical work that he enjoys.

The RCN has been a part of Tim’s professional life for most of his career. Tim was lucky enough to spend 15 months on secondment with the RCN, which he reports was a valuable time which provided him with many skills and experiences to draw on in his NHS role. Being part of the RCN Professional Nursing Committee is a relatively new role, but one which he is already finding very rewarding, and in which he is looking forward to contributing to over the coming years.

When Tim is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, and has a wide variety of interests, including travel, football (spectating), eating out and theatre. Recently he has tried his hand at growing his own fruit and vegetables, with varying degrees of success. Tim has also been learning Chinese for the past few years, though he thinks it will be many more years before he can claim to speak Chinese.

Sally Young Professional Nursing Committee

Sally Young

Member for North West, January 2020 - December 2023

Sally was in the Territorial Army and ran the resuscitation department of a field hospital during a tour of duty in Iraq. She has also worked as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner and as a Resilience and Emergency Planning Manager. Currently Sally is employed as part of a corporate nurse team in a quality assurance role.

Theresa Connor Professional Nursing Committee

Theresa Connor

Member for Scotland, January 2018 - December 2021

Theresa is a  Learning Disability charge nurse within an integrated health and social work team. She has a special interest in cancer, palliative care and pain. She is chair of RCN Forth Valley branch and has been an RCN Scotland Board member since 2012.

Mary Codling

Mary Codling

Member for South East, March 2019 - December 2021

Mary has worked in the NHS for 40 years starting in Essex where as soon as she qualified she began her nursing career in the community. Mary later moved to Berkshire where she has worked across all localities of the county in various roles from community nursing for people with learning disabilities, managing community teams, as an associate lecturer, epilepsy nurse specialist, best interest assessor, independent nurse prescriber and currently as a primary healthcare lead for learning disabilities.

During her career Mary has undertaken further studies such as a Diploma in Counselling, a first degree in community studies, a Masters in Health Science and an MPhil in research which were instrumental in further enhancing her clinical skills. Alongside this, Mary is also a reviewer for the NIHR Dissemination Centre. Over the years Mary has published a number of papers sharing some of the innovative projects that have helped in developing services. In the mid 2000’s Mary was awarded the title of Queens Nurse for her contribution to practice and continues to work with the Queens Institute on nursing topics.

The RCN has always been part of Mary’s life having first become a member in 1980 and later as a South East representative on the Quality Improvement network. Over the years Mary has been instrumental in her role within the RCN linking it with her connectivity to members in practice, working with both to promote the profession of nursing and key areas of health. Mary’s special interests are epilepsy, health promotion, family dynamics, research, communication and consultations with patients, end of life care, education and person centred care.

Carly Boyce

Carly Boyce

Member for South West, June 2019 - December 2021

Carly is the Career Development and Overseas Nursing lead at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust. Prior to taking up this role in 2016, she spent six years as the Ward Manager for Cardiology/Acute Medicine. Carly is an RCN Steward, and has previously served on the South West Board.

Denise Llwellyn Professional Nursing Committee

Denise Llewellyn MBE FRCN

Member for Wales, January 2018 - December 2021

Denise has worked in the NHS for 38 years, and latterly held the position of Executive Director of Nursing on the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Wales. In 2015 she was made a Fellow of the RCN and in 2017 was awarded an MBE for services to Nursing in Wales. In 2017 Denise became a trustee of the RCN Foundation and Chair of the RCN Foundation Welsh Committee.

Julie Green Professional Nursing Committee

Professor Julie Green

Member for West Midlands, January 2018 - December 2021

Julie is an experienced clinician, having worked in a range of positions since 1990. She is currently a Professor of district nursing at Keele University School of Nursing and Midwifery. Julie is a Queen’s Nurse, a member of the Association of District Nurse Educators and Chair of the RCN District Nursing Forum.

Tracie Culpitt Professional Nursing Committee

Tracie Culpitt

Nursing Support Worker member, January 2018 - December 2021

Tracie works in Education and Organisational development at a NHS Trust as the lead for Quality Assurance. She currently works with bands 2-4, around apprenticeship standards. She also sits on the RCN Education and Clinical Governance Forums. As the Nursing Support Worker member of the committee, Tracie is a voice for the unregistered workforce. She is an ex-officio member of the RCN UK Nursing Support Workers committee.

Kendal Moran

Kendal Moran

Student member, January 2020 - December 2021

Kendal completed her Adult Nursing degree at Bournemouth University in September 2020. She is now an Army nurse in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps and completing her preceptorship at Portsmouth Hospital. Kendal joined the Army in 2010 commissioning into the Royal Engineers with whom she served until transferring to the QARANC in 2018.

Prior to her time in the army, Kendal achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Politics from the University of York. She is co lead of the Newly Registered Nurses Network, a Defence Nursing Forum Steering Committee member, and sits on the RCN UK Students Committee as an ex-officio member.