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New RCN president elected

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?Anne Marie Rafferty ?Anne Marie Rafferty, president-elect of the RCN

Anne Marie Rafferty has been elected the next President of the Royal College of Nursing, with Yvonne Coghill to serve as Deputy President.

They were elected from the eleven candidates who ran for the two positions, and will take up office in 2019

‘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,’ said Ms Rafferty. ‘I want to sincerely thank my campaign team and let them know how grateful I am for their support I am.’

Ms Rafferty is the Professor of Nursing Policy at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London. She 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 has also been named as one of the 70 most influential nurses in 70 years of the NHS.

‘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,’ added Ms Rafferty. ‘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.’

Ms Coghill is director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard at NHS England. She has supported the RCN as a frequent speaker at Black History Month events and presenting workshops at Congress.

‘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,’ said Ms Coghill. ‘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.’

‘Anne Marie and Yvonne were outstanding candidates and fought strong campaigns,’ said Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair. ‘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.’

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