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Pat Cullen steps down from RCN to run in general election

Pat Cullen steps down from RCN to run in general election
Professor Pat Cullen

The Royal College of Nursing’s general secretary and chief executive Professor Pat Cullen has stepped down from her role to stand in the upcoming general election, it has been announced.

Current chief nursing officer and deputy general secretary and chief executive Professor Nicola Ranger will take on responsibility as head of the RCN in the interim.

Professor Cullen leaves the college after eight years, including three as general secretary and chief executive.

‘This was the hardest decision to make, and we have achieved so much in three very different and difficult years,’ she said today.

‘I hope my legacy here will be to have helped the nursing profession use its voice and campaign for change, for ourselves and patients. I owe RCN members a debt of gratitude.’

In a post on X, Professor Cullen confirmed she would be seeking nomination to stand for Sinn Féin in Fermanagh/South Tyrone in the Westminster election on 4 July.

The RCN said Professor Cullen had been ‘a brave champion’ for the profession during her tenure, including leading historic strike action and navigating ‘complex historic cultural issues with integrity’.

Professor Nicola Ranger, said: ‘The forthcoming five weeks are an opportunity for the college to advocate for nursing as part of the election campaign.

‘We will ensure every party and candidate knows the value of nursing and RCN Congress next week is the ideal opportunity for that.’


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