RCN centenary

Nurses must drive future of the profession, says RCN chief

RCN chief executive Janet Davies talks about the future for nursing in the UK and wants nurses to be at the heart of any changes.

Nurses must drive the forthcoming changes that will alter the future of the profession, RCN general secretary Janet Davies said at a conference last week.

Marking the centenary of the college, Ms Davies said it was important to reflect on the past to meet the needs of the future and outlined opportunities for nurse involvement.

Addressing the Florence Nightingale conference in London, Ms Davies asked: ‘Will our future nurses be happy with what we have done with our profession now?

‘Things are changing and we must be at heart of this – there is no point us sitting on the outskirts waiting for initiatives and then reacting.’

Ms Davies talked about revalidation, advanced practice, seven-day working, nurse staffing, education and clinical leadership.

She added that nurse education was the ‘biggest bone of contention’ at present.

‘We have strived for a long time to get nursing as a graduate profession – we must maintain the graduate nurses.’

However, she pointed out there was ‘catch-up’ that needed to be done to keep up with American nursing colleagues in the area of educational attainment.

Ms Davies also called for community nurse ambassadors to help highlight that area of nursing and said there was limited evidence of any investment.

‘The nursing workforce in community has declined by 44% – it needs community ambassadors and it is essential nurses lead the charge.’

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