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Janet Davies: Dawn of a year of opportunity for nurses

Campaigning for safe staffing legislation and ensuring a pay rise for all will be the top priorities in 2018, says RCN chief executive Janet Davies

Campaigning for safe staffing legislation and ensuring a pay rise for all will be the top priorities in 2018, says RCN chief executive Janet Davies


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By the time you read this, the festive season will be over and we will be settling into the New Year.

I think it’s fair to say that 2017 was challenging for all of us. We were dealing with so many issues affecting nurses and nursing all at once.

As we start a new year and consider our resolutions, we should see 2018 as a year of opportunity – a chance for the profession to resolve the pressing challenges of safe staffing, nursing education and pay.

Campaigning for safe staffing legislation will be a top priority for the RCN. Many of you have told us how short staffing is affecting your work and the care you want to provide. It’s important we clarify what we want to achieve as a profession as we grapple with such a large number of vacancies across the UK.

Helping nurses fulfil their potential

The government has introduced new routes into nursing, and we’ll be kept busy with the results of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) consultation on pre-registration nursing education and new frameworks for nursing associates. We want to help future nurses fulfil their potential, and will be there to guide them on their journey.

I’m extremely grateful for your hard work and support during the RCN’s Summer of Protest. We showed the country what nurses can do when we speak with one voice, but I remain cautious about a future pay deal. The cap may have been lifted but the negotiations have only just started, and with a link to productivity, a pay rise for all is not yet achieved.

You have a lot on your plates and at times it can feel overwhelming, but the RCN is here to help and we will always listen to your concerns and ideas. I wish you a healthy, happy new year.


Janet Davies is RCN chief executive and general secretary

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