‘We’re essential to nursing and essential to the RCN’

Annette’s using her position on the RCN's nursing support workers’ committee to strengthen the voice of HCAs in your union

Tell us about your work

I’ve worked in nursing for 24 years and have been a senior nursing assistant in outpatients since 2012. It’s a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding role – every day is different. 

But like many other HCAs, I haven’t always worked in nursing – I came into the role with life experience. I worked in a bank when I was younger but wanted to retrain after having my second child. 

Why did you join the committee?

I wanted to help strengthen the HCA voice in the RCN. All too often I still come across people who don’t know HCAs can even join.

What’s the most important thing for HCAs to know about the RCN?

As an essential part of the nursing team, we’re not only welcome in the RCN but essential to it too.
What’s so good about being a committee member?

I love the camaraderie. We’re a team full of enthusiastic, like-minded individuals standing up for HCAs. Being a committee member has given me the confidence to speak out when I think something is wrong. 

What do you hope to achieve during your time on the committee?

I want to make it easier for HCA members to get what they need from the RCN and become central to what their union does.  

We need strong voices to counter the outdated argument that the RCN is just for registered nurses

Why should others join the committee?

We need strong voices to counter the outdated argument that the RCN is just for registered nurses. Let’s ensure we’re respected for what we do and acknowledged as an essential part of the nursing team. I love what I do and chose not to become a registered nurse.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience in this kind of role – you will get all kinds of support from the rest of the committee and RCN staff. If you want to make a difference, this is a great opportunity.

Annette Bailey is also a steward and represents members in the South East region

Fancy getting involved? 

Hands being held up

If you think you’d like to sit on the RCN’s specialist committee for nursing support workers in the future, email governance.support@rcn.org.uk for more information.

We’d especially love to hear from you if you’re based in the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber or Eastern regions where we’re currently recruiting.

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