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RCN grants HCAs full membership

The Royal College of Nurses (RCN) has voted to allow healthcare assistants full membership and two seats on its council.

At its annual general meeting yesterday (26 October) RCN members “overwhelmingly” supported the motion, with 81.2% voting in favour.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, expressed his “delight” at the result.

In proposing the motion, Sandra James, Chair of the RCN council, said: “This is something we really want to change to reflect the realities of modern nursing.”

She claimed the new arrangement was based on the status given to student nurses.

Despite the support for James' motion, some members voiced their concern at the changes.

Former RCN president Maura Buchanan warned by allowing HCAs full membership the RCN risks ending up “a split organisation and members leaving.”

Under the new membership structure, HCA workers will still be prevented from contesting the RCN council's regional seats.

Royal College of Nursing