Cecilia Anim has been elected new president of the RCN.
Ms Anim was previously the organisation's deputy president for four years and has been active in the RCN for more than 30 years.
She works as a sexual health nurse, with an expertise in the menopause, in North London.
She said: 'I am delighted to have been elected president of the RCN and it is a great honour to serve the RCN members. I'm immensely grateful for the support I've received.
'The nursing profession is going through tough times. I'm determined to be a vocal campaigner on behalf of the RCN members and will work tirelessly to secure a better future for nursing staff and their patients," she added.
She will take over from outgoing president, Andrea Spyropoulos, on the 1 January 2015, for the next two years.
Professor Rod Thomson, will succeed Ms Anim as the new deputy president. He is a public health director in Shropshire and has served as vice chair and chair of the RCN's annual congress between 2006 and 2014.