RCN starts the search for a new Chief Executive & General Secretary

The £183,000 a year role calls for someone with “well developed political understanding” who has “business and commercial acumen”.

Matt Bodell
15 December 2018
RCN Voice of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing had started the search for a new Chief executive and General Secretary.

The Royal College of Nursing has started the search for a new permanent Chief Executive and General Secretary after the departure of Janet Davies earlier this year admid concerns over the unions handling of the NHS pay deal.


Dame Donna Kinnair has undertaken the role on a temporary basis until a new appointment is made.

The £183,000 a year role is being advertised by Anderson Quigley – a specialist in the recruitment of senior executives.

According to the advert, the new Chief Executive and General Secretary should “be engaging, with a credible clinical nursing background, as well as business and commercial acumen.”

Adding; “They will also require an acute, well developed political understanding, and the ability to develop strong networks across the whole healthcare sector both in the UK and internationally in order to take forward our vital agenda.”


‘A fresh approach’.

Earlier this year, a independent report by Electorial Reform Services (ERS) revealed signficant failings within the management of the organisation and highlighted the need for significant change. The advert says applicants should be able to provide “a fresh approach” and lead “cultural and operational change”.

Members have consistently called for the role to be undertaken by a ‘grass-roots’ elected RCN member.

David Dawes, the recently re-elected council member for the North West, said; “There is an ongoing recruitment process for the General Secretary that has been underway for several months.

“The incoming 2019 Council members were briefed on this and may choose to review this when they take up office.


“I have held the view for some time that the General Secretary should be elected and I think that this should be considered by Council in 2019. I believe that such a drastic change should also go to the membership and there should be a full membership consultation on any changes. This makes it difficult to put in place for this General Secretary appointment but with the support of the membership and Council then I think this could be in place for the next General Secretary process in several years time.”

A spokesperson for the RCN said; “The search for our new Chief Executive and General Secretary has started and we are excited by the high calibre candidates the post will attract. Members of the newly-elected Council will be involved in selecting the right individual to take the organisation forward in 2019.”

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