Nursing needs a strong student voice

 Cecilia Anim CBE 21 Sep 2018 Cecilia Anim

RCN President Cecilia Anim welcomes a new cohort of nursing students to the RCN and calls on them to embrace activism.

RCN Students at RCN Congress
Up and down the UK, the next generation of nursing and midwifery students are packing their bags in preparation for a new life at university.
For some, it may be their first taste of university life, and the first time living away from home.

For others, it may be a second or third degree, and the start of the next big adventure, or maybe you’re a mature student, coming to the profession in later life and juggling parental or caring responsibilities or even a part-time job.
Whatever your circumstances, you’ve made a great decision to study nursing or midwifery – two of the most varied and rewarding careers there are.
Over the next few weeks and months, RCN staff and members will be meeting undergraduates in their universities and talking about what it means to be a part of the world’s largest nursing trade union and professional body.
If you’ve already joined, I want to welcome you to the College. If you’re still unsure, I want to explain why the RCN and, more importantly, nursing as a profession, needs you.
It’s no secret that nurse education is in a state of flux. The bursary for students in England has been taken away raising serious questions about the future supply of nurses. A special education edition of RCN Bulletin recently shone a light on many of your concerns.
In times of uncertainty it’s easy to recoil, but what’s important – now more than ever before – is that students speak with one voice and that their concerns are listened to – not just at RCN Congress, but all year round.
And that’s where you come in.
By becoming a student member of the RCN, you will play a leading role in the campaigns that mean the most to you.
By becoming a student information officer, you will take responsibility for keeping your networks up to date, and helping them make the most of their membership.
And by becoming a student member of RCN Council, you will represent more than 40,000 students on a national scale, following in the footsteps of people like Charlotte Hall, who has fought for the rights of students at every opportunity.
2018 marks 50 years of students being a part of the College.
I’m proud of the difference students have made to the RCN and can’t wait for the next generation to make their mark too.
If you’re unable to be with us, please register your proxy vote as soon as possible and submit a question to be answered during the meeting. You can also watch the EGM online via the RCN website.
It’s vital that all members have a say in the future direction of the RCN – don’t miss your chance to be heard.

Cecilia Anim

Cecilia Anim CBE

Former RCN President


Cecilia works as a clinical nurse specialist in sexual and reproductive health in London and specialises in family planning and aspects of women's health. She was elected RCN President in 2015, having been a member for more than 30 years, and was made a CBE in the 2017 New Year honours.

Page last updated - 15/05/2020