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Dame Donna Kinnair is named RCN general secretary

College appoints its acting head following months of ‘sterling leadership’

College appoints its acting head following months of ‘sterling leadership’


Professor Dame Donna Kinnair. 

The RCN has a new general secretary, with Dame Donna Kinnair appointed to the role.

Professor Kinnair has been acting general secretary for the college since Janet Davies stepped down last August as part of the fallout of the college’s miscommunication of the pay deal for nurses in England.

‘Proud to serve’

On her appointment, Professor Kinnair said she was proud to be able to continue serving RCN members.

‘It is quite simply the best job in nursing and the greatest privilege to continue serving the RCN’s members at the highest level,’ she said.

‘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.’

While Professor Kinnair said nurses across the UK were facing challenges, she wanted to give them the hope they were surmountable.

An organisation to be proud of

‘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 months,’ she said.

‘Every member of the RCN must see an organisation 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.’

Leadership through transition

The RCN’s chair of council Sue Warner said the college’s governing body was ‘delighted’ to confirm Professor Kinnair’s appointment.

‘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. 

Ms Warner added that Professor Kinnair’s experience and drive would qualify her to champion the RCN’s safe staffing campaign work and increases student support campaigns.

Professor Kinnair joined the RCN as head of nursing in 2015.  


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