Royal College of Nursing appoints Dame Donna Kinnair as Chief Executive and General Secretary

Press Release 18/04/2019

The Royal College of Nursing today announces that Dame Donna Kinnair has been appointed permanent Chief Executive and General Secretary.   

Dame Donna was appointed following a competitive selection process conducted by the RCN Council, and will take up the permanent post immediately. She has held the role in an acting capacity since August 2018.

Dame Donna joined the RCN as Head of Nursing in 2015, providing leadership to the Nursing departments. Prior to joining the RCN, she held various roles, including Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust; Executive Director of Nursing, Southeast London Cluster Board; Director of Commissioning, London Borough of Southwark & Southwark PCT. She was the Strategic Commissioner for Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority’s Children’s Services.

Dame Donna advised the Prime Minister’s Commission on the future of Nursing and Midwifery in 2010, and served as nurse/child health assessor to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. 

Commenting on her appointment, Dame Donna Kinnair said:

“It is quite simply the best job in nursing and the greatest privilege to continue serving the RCN’s members at the highest level. My every action will seek to boost their collective voice and leave others in no doubt at the true value of a cutting-edge and respected nursing workforce.

“In every country of the UK, our profession and those we care for are experiencing serious challenges that I am determined to continue addressing, building on my work of the last seven months. Every member of the RCN must see an organisation that they are proud to be part of and I see it as my duty to give them that faith as we rise to this challenge together.”

RCN Chair of Council Sue Warner said:

"I am delighted to be able to confirm this appointment. These are challenging times for the nursing profession and Donna will bring unparalleled experience to our organisation.

“She has provided sterling leadership while carrying out the role in an acting capacity for the last eight months, which guided the College through a period of transition and helped rebuild the confidence of its membership. 

“The RCN is undertaking important campaigns to deliver safe staffing levels and a major increase in funding to train and retain the next generation of nurses. I believe Donna’s experience and drive makes her uniquely qualified to deliver these objectives.”


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