Royal College of Nursing members have elected a new president for the union.
Anne Marie Rafferty CBE FRCN has been elected the next President of the Royal College of Nursing, and Yvonne Coghill CBE FRCN has been elected Deputy President.
They were elected today from the eleven candidates who ran for the two positions and will take up office in the new year and will serve a term of two years.
Anne Marie and Yvonne succeed outgoing President Dr Cecilia Akrisie Anim CBE, who has served in the role since 2014, and Deputy President Professor Rod Thomson FRCN.
A total of 6.9% of RCN members took part in the vote. Anne Marie was elected with a 26% majority and Yvonne, a 35% majority.
‘An ambassador for the nursing profession’.
Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Anne Marie and Yvonne were outstanding candidates and fought strong campaigns.
“The backing they have received from members is a testament to the lifetime contribution they have made to nursing and the clear ambition they’ve shown for our profession.
“I warmly congratulate both today and look forward to working with them closely in the years ahead. I have faith they will bring creativity, vast experience and energy to the task of refocusing the RCN in 2019 and beyond.
“I offer my sincere thanks to all other contestants and, though I know they will be disappointed today, their contribution to the College remains invaluable and as leading members they have a large role to play in its future.”
‘A huge privilege’.
Anne Marie is Professor of Nursing Policy at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London. Professor Rafferty has been involved in the RCN since 2015 acting as an RCN representative on the Health Quality Improvement Partnership and currently acts as a member of the Safe Staffing Expert Reference Group. She was named one of the 70 most influential nurses in 70 years of the NHS.
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty said: “I’m thrilled to have been elected. It is a huge privilege to become RCN President and I’m looking forward to supporting the profession and the College in the best way that I can.
“I want to sincerely thank my campaign team and let them know how grateful I am for their support I am.
“There are clearly many challenges ahead for nursing so we need to pull together as members to put the profession at the forefront and face those challenges.
“Looking at governance and communication in the RCN will be my first priority internally. Tackling safe nurse staffing levels will be focus externally. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested he will consider introducing legislation, so I’m keen to connect with him and establish strong links.“
‘Nursing is the best profession in the world’.
Yvonne is Director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard at NHS England. She has supported the RCN throughout her career as a frequent speaker at Black History Month events and presenting workshops at Congress.
Yvonne Coghill said: “It’s a huge honour to be elected and a very special feeling to know that you’ve been chosen by fellow nurses because they think you’re good enough to represent them.
“I’ve been a member of the RCN all my working life and have always been supportive of what the RCN is and what it seeks to achieve.
“Nursing is the best profession in the world so it needs a strong professional body and a strong trade union arm. There’s lots of work to do but I’m excited about the prospect of working with members to make the RCN the best it can possibly be.”