The Royal College of Nursing is the world’s largest nursing union and professional body. We represent more than 435,000 nurses, midwives, student nurses, health care assistants, as well as the new nurse associates. We are unique being both a professional body, leading the way on nursing standards, education and practice, and a trade union.
We are looking for a new Chief Executive & General Secretary to bring a fresh approach and a new drive to the challenges we face as a profession. This is a job like no other and we are looking for someone with energy, passion and true leadership ability. The incoming Chief Executive & General Secretary will help to continue to develop the College and range of services to its members by supporting the RCN Council to deliver the strategic objectives they set. Working collaboratively with both the President and Chair of Council in representing nursing at its highest levels on behalf of the membership both in the UK and internationally.
We are seeking an exceptional and inspirational individual to take on this highly influential role with the personal credibility, capability and awareness to ensure the voice of our members is always at the heart of what we do. They will also bring a track record of success in leading and embedding cultural and operational change.
Our incoming Chief Executive & General Secretary will be engaging, with a credible clinical nursing background, as well as business and commercial acumen. They will have a high level of interpersonal and influencing skills, as well as excellent media skills, emotional intelligence and resilience. They will also require an acute, well developed political understanding, and the ability to develop strong networks across the whole healthcare sector both in the UK and internationally in order to take forward our vital agenda.
Our members work in a range of health care specialties and settings in the NHS and independent sectors. We also have members based overseas, and members who are retired. Around 35,000 nursing students are members.
We are governed by an elected Council of 17 members, which delegates the running and management of the organisation to our Chief Executive & General Secretary. Our President is a member of RCN Council.
We are a Royal Charter body registered with the Privy Council and, because trade unionism is not our sole activity, we are on a special register of trade unions which means our rules differ slightly to other trade unions.
We represent the professional interests of nursing staff working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
We are on the NHS Staff Council, which negotiates pay, terms and conditions for NHS staff. We can also bargain for pay, terms and conditions with independent sector organisations. We are represented in social partnership arrangements in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our stewards, safety reps and learning reps represent members across the UK and are supported and supervised by employment relations officers.
We offer our members free, confidential advice and support on employment matters, career development, immigration, welfare and more.
We support and protect the diversity of the nursing profession by actively promoting inclusion. Our Diversity Champions programme is designed to give members the skills to make sure their organisations are inclusive. We provide accredited reps with the tools to challenge discrimination in the workplace.
We lobby governments and other bodies across the UK to develop, influence and implement policy that improves the quality of patient care.
Through our campaigns, we encourage health care officials and elected representatives to recognise the importance of nurses, health care assistants and nursing students in improving outcomes for patients.
We provide expert advice to parliamentarians on developing healthcare policies through legislation, select committees, all-party parliamentary groups and parliamentary briefings, and attend all of the major UK party conferences. We have no ties to any political party and we take pride in our political independence.
We promote and engage in nursing research, recognising that high-quality nursing research has the power to transform patient care.
We have one of the largest specialist nursing libraries in Europe with access to over 64,000 books, 1,100 ejournals, 1,500 e-books and key nursing databases.
We strive to be a sustainable, member-led organisation with the capacity to deliver our mission effectively, efficiently and in accordance with our values and core objectives.
For more information on our royal charter, standing orders, regulations, policies and processes that ensure effective governance within our organisation, please click here.
Job Title: Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing
Responsible to: The Chair of Council on behalf of Council
Purpose of the role
To provide strong inspirational executive leadership, operational management and direction to the Royal College of Nursing by:
Quality and Service Delivery
Legal and Statutory
Support for the President, Chair of Council and Council
The person specification outlines the essential experience, knowledge and skills required for this role. Evidence for competencies, knowledge and skills will be looked for throughout the selection process.
Knowledge, Training and Qualifications
When you join the RCN, you are enrolled into our group personal pension scheme and while you contribute 3% of your salary, the RCN makes additional contributions of 8%. Twice a year, you will have the option to increase your contributions to 5% or 7%. The scheme has a range of investment options for you to choose from, including ethical investment funds.
In addition to 32 days’ annual leave, we also offer special leave for a variety of requirements as standard.
Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to the Royal College of Nursing. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.
Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Hélène Usherwood on +44 (0)7719 322 669.