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RCN confirms new general secretary and chief executive

RCN confirms new general secretary and chief executive
Credit: RCN

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced that Professor Nicola Ranger will be its new general secretary and chief executive.

Professor Ranger – who has been acting as head of the college since May – has accepted the post, the RCN has confirmed.

She replaces Professor Pat Cullen who stood down from the post to run as an MP in the general election.

Professor Ranger joined the RCN in 2022 having previously worked as chief nurse and executive director of midwifery at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London.

She also held chief nurse posts at both Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Frimley Health NHS Foundation trust.

The new RCN chief also has experience working outside of the UK, having also held nursing roles in the US.

In June, Professor Ranger led the RCN through its annual Congress, in which she called for a ‘substantial’ pay rise for all nursing staff.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Ranger said it was ‘a great honour and immense privilege’ to take on the role.

‘There is an opportunity right now, not just for renewal but to make huge progress and strides forward for nursing and the people we care for,’ she said.

‘New leadership in Westminster, the regulator and senior parts of the NHS as well as here at the college gives fresh energy and new perspectives on how we work together in the interests of the profession and patients.’

She added: ‘I firmly believe that nursing is the best profession and every nurse and support worker carries a great responsibility and honour when doing what we do.

‘I will work tirelessly to build upon the great history of the Royal College of Nursing, to demonstrate its value to every nursing professional – covering every role, setting, workplace and country – and make an undeniable case for investment in nursing as the best way to transform services and improve outcomes.’

Congratulating Professor Ranger on her appointment, chair of RCN Council Paul Vaughan said she was a ‘passionate and powerful advocate’ for staff, the union, and ‘all parts of the nursing workforce’.

‘Nicola has unparalleled experience as a nurse leader, and she enjoys the strongest reputation in our profession,’ he added.

‘She will relish the chance to deliver for all parts of our membership; work with RCN members, employers, systems and ministers across the UK; and make an immediate impact with the new Westminster Government.’

Former RCN chief Professor Cullen was elected as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in Northern Ireland in the general election last week.

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