Could you be RCN President?

Time is running out to put yourself forward...

RCN Presidents have embodied the ambition, vision and values of members for more than a century, influencing nursing and improving patient care. Now is your chance to take on the prestigious role. We spoke to  past presidents about why it’s an opportunity too good to miss.

Cecilia Anim
RCN President 2014-2018

When I spoke to the crowds from the top of the RCN’s campaign bus in Parliament Square during my presidency, my heart swelled to hear members' deafening chants.

There I was, a girl from Ghana, representing thousands of members who had worked so hard over the years, but who felt they had no voice.

I’ve always been passionate about improving the working lives of nursing staff and I knew in that moment I was doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. I was so elated to be part of something so significant. 

The role was all that I could have wished for and more. I had the opportunity to do so many amazing things

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I could one day become RCN President.

The role was all that I could have wished for and more. I had the opportunity to do so many amazing things and meet so many remarkable members.

I hope to have been an inspiration. It is such a privilege to represent nursing and protect the integrity of the profession.

Andrea Spyropoulos
RCN President 2010-2014

Andrea Spyropoulos, former RCN President

I was three weeks into my presidency when I went to represent the RCN at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Nurses Confederation, of which the RCN is a member, was lobbying for equal rights and competencies for nurses across the EU.

I had planned to just go along and listen, given that I was so new to the role, but I just couldn’t contain myself. 

There were all these different ministers from different countries talking about what needed to happen for nursing, and I just thought "you’re not asking the right questions, you’re getting this all wrong". So I spoke up.

I realised that in that arena, as RCN President, I had a voice and it had clout

I spoke with passion and conviction and it got us noticed. It was that moment that I realised the responsibility I had as RCN President and it marked the beginning of a fantastic four years for me.

The role is absolutely crucial. You’re there to be the voice of members, stand up for nursing and represent all the staff who are busting a gut for their patients without getting enough reward or recognition. 

Members were my inspiration, they gave me such strength, and there’s so much you can do for them in this role. 

I would say now more than ever the role is needed to reflect the heart and soul of nursing. As we continue to face unprecedented challenges, the critical leadership skill a president can provide remains critical in shaping the future of nursing and in bringing the membership voice to the highest levels of government and the RCN.

I would encourage any passionate nurse who believes they have the skills to undertake the role to do so, it is an amazing journey.

Maura Buchanan 
RCN President 2006-2010

Former RCN President Maura Buchanan 
I loved having the opportunity to help judge the annual Nurse Awards. They profile nursing at its very best and give a platform for ordinary nurses doing extraordinary things to showcase how they’re transforming patient care. 

The winners were always so humble, reluctant to take the credit, and yet their work was really remarkable. 

I also enjoyed meeting members in their workplaces. I got to learn about local issues and was able to put nursing in the spotlight. I never met a chief executive who didn’t want to impress “the RCN President” so those visits were my chance to stress how valuable and vital nursing staff are. 

Then there’s the global influence you can have in the role.

Being RCN President opens doors. It's allowed me to take on other senior international health care roles with credibility

Through my president’s charity I raised money to improve nursing care and health outcomes in Kenya. 

We bought mosquito nets to give to children to reduce their chances of catching malaria and I funded myself to go out there and see the difference nurses make. 

Being RCN President opens doors. It’s allowed me to take on other senior international health care roles with credibility. 

It remains an honour and a responsibility to have been in the role.

Fast facts

  • You have until 20 July to nominate yourself for the role of RCN President.
  • You must have been an RCN member for five consecutive years to be eligible. 
  • You need to get your nomination form signed by two other members and provide information about your career, your involvement with the RCN and how you meet the role requirements.  
  • The term of office lasts for two years, from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.
  • Members get to choose who they want as the next RCN President. Voting runs from 1 to 30 September.
  • You can also nominate yourself to be RCN Deputy President.

Find out more... 

To find out more about the roles of RCN President and Deputy President, and how to nominate yourself, visit our elections page.

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