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What role for retired nurses in the RCN?

An RCN league of retired nurses could ensure their knowledge is not lost

Linda_Bailey©JH
Linda Bailey said a league for retired nurses would enable them to participate. 
Picture: John Houlihan

The RCN should set up a UK-wide league for retired nurses to ensure the rich knowledge of its older members is not lost, the college’s annual congress in Belfast heard.

The call came during a discussion on whether nurses who are no longer on the professional register should be eligible for full RCN membership.

Linda Bailey, of the RCN public health forum, said if retired members wanted to hold office in the college they should be on the register and fully paid-up members.


Tom Bolger: RCN should recognise
that every member has equal worth.
Picture: John Houlihan

‘Personally, once I retire I'll be gone. I believe in handing the baton on – you don’t hang around.’

But she thought the idea of a league for retired nurses – with formal standing – would enable older nurses who wanted to participate to do so.

Victorian mentality

Former RCN council chair Michael Brown said some retired nurses had told him they could not afford the full membership fee of £196 a year.

‘We need to be clear what retired members need from the RCN. As for what do retired members offer the RCN – a hell of a lot,’ he said.

Tom Bolger said though he was no longer on the register he was still a qualified nurse.

‘I haven’t lost my knowledge, my skills or my understanding… It’s time the college moved away from its Victorian, hierarchical mentality and started to recognise that every RCN member has equal worth.’


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