2020 RCN fellowships: meet the nursing professionals honoured with this year’s awards

College recognises exceptional practitioners, researchers, educationalists and leaders in the profession

RCN Fellowship Awards 2020

A collection of articles by RCN fellows highlighting some of the many changes and achievements in nursing over the past 50 years has been published by Nursing Standard.

The papers by recipients of the prestigious fellowships cover a range of topics, including heart disease, person-centred care, nurse staffing levels, child health and end of life care.

The collection also marks the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The 23 articles include contributions from fellows – the highest award from the RCN – across almost the entire history of the fellowships, which began in 1976.

And a further eight members of the college have this year received RCN fellowships, with another nurse being named an honorary fellow.

We take a look at the achievements of the 2020 fellows.


2020 RCN fellows Peter Carter, Claire Chatterton, Anthony Clarkson and Matthew Grundy-Bowers
2020 RCN fellows from left to right: Peter Carter, Claire Chatterton, Anthony Clarkson and Matthew Grundy-Bowers

Peter Carter

Dr Carter was among the first nurses to head up a trust, as chief executive of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, before becoming RCN general secretary.

He was a member of the committee that helped establish non-medical prescribing, paving the way for nurse prescribing, and was pivotal in the development of the Admiral Nurse concept in dementia care.

Claire Chatterton

Nurse historian Professor Chatterton spent eight years as chair of the RCN’s history of nursing forum, was an adviser on the BBC series The NHS: A People’s History, and supported commemorations of first world war nurses with her research. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Agnes Dillon Randolph Award for contributions to the history of nursing.

Anthony Clarkson

A representative of the field on international committees, his expertise was recognised in 2016 when he was appointed group leader of an organ donation global leadership symposium.

Matthew Grundy-Bowers

Consultant nurse in HIV/sexual health at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Dr Grundy-Bowers has been described as a pioneer of his specialty. In his educational role with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, he led a project to develop a national curriculum and credentialing for advanced clinical practitioners in integrated sexual health/HIV.

2020 RCN fellows Sonja McIlfatrick, Ann McMahon, Wendy Norton and Crystal Oldman
2020 RCN fellows from left to right: Sonja McIlfatrick, Ann McMahon, Wendy Norton and Crystal Oldman

Sonja McIlfatrick

Head of Ulster University’s school of nursing and a leading palliative care clinician and academic, Professor McIIfatrick was until recently president of the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing. She received international recognition in the role. She also holds visiting professor appointments in Slovenia, Japan and Australia.

Ann McMahon

Professor McMahon, honorary professor at the University of Plymouth and honorary research fellow at the University of Glasgow, was RCN professional lead for research and innovation for 25 years. She was instrumental in the development of the RCN Research Society and International Research Conference. Throughout her career she has raised the profile of nursing research and helped to demonstrate the value of nurse-led innovation. 

Wendy Norton

Senior lecturer at the Leicester School of Nursing and Midwifery at De Montford University, Professor Norton was a member of the RCN women’s health forum steering committee for eight years. A leading researcher on surrogacy, she led a working group on menstrual awareness and developed a national skills and knowledge framework for endometriosis clinical nurse specialists.

Crystal Oldman

As chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), Dr Oldman developed the International Community Nursing Observatory to share best practice in primary care nursing from around the world. She has used her QNI role to improve the care of many disadvantaged groups, such as homeless people, and encouraged ministers to shadow Queen’s Nurses.

Honorary fellow

Linda A McCauley

Linda A McCauley
Linda A McCauley

Professor McCauley is dean and professor of nursing at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US.

She has built a strong reputation as a researcher in occupational health nursing, investigating pregnancy and infant health in migrant farm workers and working with Vietnam veterans on their exposure to toxic herbicides.

She has also helped to develop several US nursing schools.

Find out more

RCN Bulletin: Fellowships and Honorary Fellowship 

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