Sheilbye (Sheila) Sobrany has been announced as RCN president in the recent election for the position.
Ms Sobrany will begin the role from 1 January 2023 for two years, taking over from current President Dr Denise Chaffer.
The RCN said she will act as an ambassador for the nursing profession, representing the RCN to its members, stakeholders and the public across the UK and internationally. She will also serve as a full member of RCN Council.
Ms Sobrany’s priorities, highlighted during her electoral campaign, include securing fair pay for nurses, reducing pressures on the profession and tackling racism, bullying, harassment and discrimination of healthcare workers.
Ms Sobrany said: ‘I am humbled by the support I have received and deeply honoured to take on the role of president at a critical time for nurses, nursing and our Royal College.
‘I will lead on the core issues identified in my campaign: making the RCN strong for members, not least in our campaigns for fair pay and patient safety, and advocating clearly for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
‘As a professional college and trade union, we must foster a strong sense of unity and belonging for our members in their work and our organisation. As your new RCN president, I cannot do this without you and I need your support to make this possible.’
Ms Sobrany has been a member of the RCN since 1999 after graduating from the Nurse Education Institute in 1991. Before her election, she sat on the RCN London Board as the North East London Inner member.
She also worked as a lecturer in adult nursing at Middlesex University where she was the founder and chair of the Healthcare Academics Race Equality Diversity and Inclusivity Networks (HAREDIN & SHAREDIN) for nursing staff, students and newly qualified nurses.
During this time, Ms Sobrany was the founder and co-chair of the Middlsex University Anti-Racism Network.
Her election follows the publication of the Carr report into the culture of the RCN which found evidence of racism, bullying, and sexism at the highest levels of the organisation.
On this, Ms Sobrany said: ‘I will work each day of my term to lead the RCN in tackling and rooting out the poor behaviours identified in the Carr Review and hold to account anybody who tries to perpetuate them.
‘The culture of the organisation and how it works must change, and I will dedicate myself to that ambition, carrying with me the support and aspiration of each member.’