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RCN Northern Ireland Board Members

The RCN Northern Ireland Board is responsible for the governance of the RCN in Northern Ireland. The Board meets four times each year. If you wish to contact a Board Member, please email

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Briege Quinn: Board Chair

Briege has been a member of the RCN for over 40 years and is an active member of the Belfast Branch. She first became a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Board in January 2017. Having commenced her nurse training in 1980, Briege subsequently specialised in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. She spent part of her career as a lecturer in nursing at Ulster University, working with nurses from all areas of practice to enhance their skills in recovery and co-production, as well as behaviour change to promote mental and physical health well-being.

Briege is passionate about influencing the quality, safety and service user experience in all areas of public health nursing, building a resilient workforce and promoting mental health and learning disability nursing wherever possible. She is also a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Mental Health Nursing Network.


Denise Kelly: Vice Chair, RCN Northern Ireland Board; Chair, RCN Trade Union Committee

Denise became a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Board in January 2020, following her election to represent Northern Ireland as a member of the RCN UK Trade Union Committee. In 2022, she was elected as Chair of the Trade Union Committee. Denise had been serving as Vice Chair since January 2021. 

Denise has 30 years’ experience in the Health and Social Care service, initially as an auxiliary nurse in 1992. Denise is currently a full time senior clinical nurse co-ordinator on the Hospital At Night team. Due to her extensive experience, Denise understands the challenges facing RCN members and is proud to be a dedicated RCN member, Steward, Health and Safety Rep, and activist. Her primary focus is on the RCN’s pay campaign and safe staffing, especially following the successful industrial action undertaken by RCN members in Northern Ireland. She is passionate about the trade union work of the RCN, whilst also recognising the importance of the professional nursing work. Denise received the RCN Award of Merit in 2020 for exceptional service to members.  


Donna Gallagher: RCN UK Professional Nursing Committee representative

Donna has been a member of the RCN for over 20 years. She joined the RCN Northern Ireland Board in January 2024 as the RCN UK Professional Nursing Committee representative.

Having commenced nurse training in 1989, Donna specialised in mental health nursing, with a keen interest in the physical and mental health of older people. She moved in to further education and then higher education as a lecturer and senior lecturer at The Open University. Donna was influential in the development of The Open University’s nursing programme, working across HSC trusts and the independent sector. She also worked closely with the NMC as a programme reviewer.

As an RCN Board member, Donna hopes to influence a wide range of issues on behalf of members and use her networks to support the work of the RCN in Northern Ireland. She continues her passion for mental health and recovery, and continues to practise as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, keen to support others on their life journey.


Anne Campbell: Council member

Anne has been an active member of the RCN since she became a registered nurse. She has acted as a steward and a safety representative, as well as holding the positions of Secretary and Chair of the RCN Belfast Branch. She understands the challenges of RCN members at present, with the crisis of unsafe staffing and the recruitment and retention issues within nursing. 

She is a learning disability nurse and has worked in practice and management posts in the field of learning disability. She is passionate about ensuring that people with a learning disability have safe, effective and compassionate nursing care and support in community and general hospital environments. 

This is her second term as an RCN Northern Ireland Board member. As a Board member, she will continue to support all Board activities and her active role in the RCN Belfast Branch will enable her to bring members’ concerns to the Board. 

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Siobhan Donald

Siobhan Donald has been an RCN member since 1988, when she commenced her nurse training. She previously served as a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Board from 2016 to 2018, when she was also the Northern Ireland member of RCN Council. Siobhan has also served as the Northern Ireland representative on the RCN Professional Nursing Committee.
Siobhan has held a number of roles throughout the acute and unscheduled care sector in Northern Ireland and is currently Assistant Director of Nursing with the Public Health Agency. Her remit includes health in the criminal justice system, primary care and workforce issues.


Andrew Hamill

Andrew qualified from the University of Ulster in Coleraine in 2009. He began his career as a band 5 theatre nurse in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, advancing to the position of band 6 clinical charge nurse in pre-operative anaesthetic assessment. For the last three years, he has been working as site manager and clinical co-ordinator, based at Craigavon Area Hospital.


Andrew was an active RCN student member throughout his training, sitting on the regional student committee. He is currently an accredited RCN Safety Representative and a member of the RCN Southern Branch committee.


As an RCN Northern Ireland Board member, Andrew is dedicated to ensuring that the voice of the nursing family is heard at all levels. He is keen to promote nursing as a profession and encourage students to become active members. Andrew said: “As an active family of nurses, we can work together to create a safe environment for our patients and each other”.

Maureen Dolan

Maureen’s nursing career embraces 33 years within the HSC, qualifying as a registered nurse in 2005 and subsequently working mainly within a surgical directorate. She became a full RCN member in 2004. 


Maureen has an evolving history within the RCN since becoming an accredited steward within her local HSC trust and Secretary of the RCN Southern Branch. She has previously served as an RCN Northern Ireland Board member and Vice Chair, representing members regionally. Maureen also has experience at a UK level, as a committee member for the RCN Perioperative Forum and as a member of the RCN Agenda Committee, which is responsible for the governance of RCN Congress.

Maureen is passionate about the RCN membership, striving to ensure fairness and equality for all health care staff within the HSC and the independent sector. She is determined to ensure that members’ voices are heard on the diverse range of issues affecting frontline staff.

Edna Grant

Edna has been a member of the RCN since starting her nursing career in 1987. She has served as a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Board since 2020 and also as an RCN Southern Branch committee member.

As part of her role within the RCN Northern Ireland Board, Edna is very keen to highlight staff retention and safe staffing as urgent matters which need to be the focus for the organisation.

Edna has worked as a community nurse since 1996 and is passionate about ensuring that the voice of nursing from both the primary and secondary care sectors is being heard. She said: “There are a lot of changes happening at the minute and we all need to support each other through these difficult times”.

Simon Higgs

Simon Higgs

Simon has been a member of the RCN since 2007 and represented Northern Ireland on the RCN UK Pain and Palliative Care Forum, which he also chaired for two years. An active member of the South Eastern Branch, Simon has served as Branch Chair and is currently a committee member. He is also an accredited RCN steward. Simon works within the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust as the Pain Services Manager and Lead Nurse for Pain Services. Previously, he worked in the acute pain service within the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Simon is passionate about ensuring the voice of nursing is heard and that the profession is recognised as the highly skilled, knowledgeable and powerful linchpin of the health service. Nursing needs to be recognised, remunerated fairly and represented at decision-making tables to ensure that safe and effective care is kept at the top of the agenda. Simon aims to ensure that the voice of RCN members is heard and that the RCN continues to work with members and for members through an ever-changing environment and upholding the principles of fairness, equality and diversity.

Laura McClintock

Laura qualified as a registered nurse from the University of Ulster at Magee in 2010 and subsequently developed a keen interest in palliative care. She has been employed in this area of practice for the past eight years and currently works as a palliative care clinical nurse specialist. 

She is an active RCN member and has recently been elected as RCN North Western Branch Secretary and as a member of the RCN Northern Ireland Board. Throughout her career, Laura has been passionate about promoting nursing as a profession and working on the ground in all acute settings. She is interested in promoting the well-being of nursing staff and ensuring that their professional voice is heard in relation to current challenges and their impact upon care. Laura believes strongly that nursing staff should be supported and recognised equitably in order to deliver high standards of safe and effective patient care.

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Connie Mitchell

Connie has been an RCN member since 1983, when she commenced her nurse training. She has been the RCN Northern Ireland Independent Sector Nurse Managers Network lead for almost 10 years and recently became the RCN Southern Branch Secretary. Connie has worked in acute services and predominately in the independent sector. She has been a care home manager for over 13 years.

As part of her role with the RCN Northern Ireland Board, Connie is very keen to highlight the independent sector, ensuring safe and effective care through safe staffing levels and staff retention. She is also determined to promote and extend RCN membership within both the independent sector and the HSC, ensuring members’ voices are heard on the many issues that face them.

Page last updated - 26/03/2024