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RCN announces new President

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The RCN has elected a new president The RCN has elected a new president

Dr Denise Chaffer has been elected the next President of the Royal College of Nursing.

Dr Chaffer was elected from the three candidates who ran for the position, and will take up the role from 1 July and will serve as RCN President until 31 December 2022. Dr Chaffer is currently the Director of Safety and Learning at NHS Resolution and is both a registered nurse and midwife by background. Previously, she has held a number of director of nursing roles, including for two acute trusts, a primary care commissioning organisation and for the NHS England North West London region.

Read more: RCN urges government to fix ‘chronic’ staff shortages as waiting lists top 5 million

‘It's a huge honour to be elected President of the RCN, to help amplify the voice of nursing and promote the value of our highly skilled profession. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, those that nominated me, as well as the candidates that stood alongside me,’ said Dr Chaffer.

‘Nursing staff have been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic - the past 18 months have been challenging for the whole of the health service - yet at the same time we have seen the value of nursing and how nursing touches so many lives. I’m committed to using this role to influence national policy on what is needed to recruit and retain nursing staff within the profession, using research evidence to demonstrate the need for fair pay, safe staffing, fairer processes and increased wellbeing support. I’m also determined to help drive improvements in equality, diversity and inclusion and ensure all areas of nursing care are valued and recognised.’

The RCN President acts as an ambassador for the nursing profession and represents the College to its members, stakeholders and the public across the UK and the world. Dr Chaffer succeeds outgoing RCN President Professor Dame Anne Marie Rafferty CBE FRCN who has served in the role since January 2019.

Read more: RCN calls for end to risky recruitment practices

‘We’re delighted to welcome Dr Denise Chaffer as our new President at a time when nursing has such a high profile and is under the spotlight more than ever before,’ said Pat Cullen, RCN Acting General Secretary and Chief Executive.

‘RCN Presidents have embodied the ambition, vision and values of members for more than a century, influencing nursing and improving patient care. I warmly congratulate Denise and know she will uphold these attributes, bringing vast experience, energy and commitment to the role.’

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