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Academic given Commonwealth nurse leadership role

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Professor Kath McCourt has been elected vice president of the Commonwealth Nurses Federation.

The CNF is a federation of national nursing and midwifery organisations in Commonwealth countries, which aims to develop international nursing networks, sharing good practice and influencing health policy. 

Professor McCourt, executive dean of the faculty of health and life sciences at Northumbria University, is a former chair of the Royal College of Nursing. She is also currently chair of the RCN’s international committee.

She joins fellow international committee member Paula Hancock, who is a CNF board member for the European region.

Professor McCourt said: “As an active nurse and midwife I have had a long involvement with the Commonwealth delivering nursing leadership and education workshops, so I know how important this international work is.

“The CNF is a strong voice influencing change internationally and I am delighted that I will be able to undertake this important role.”

RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter congratulated Professor McCourt on her election to the role.

“The RCN is an enthusiastic supporter of the important work of the CNF, and we are delighted that members of our International Committee are helping to support this work,” he said.

The college provides a base for the CNF in its London headquarters.

However, its relationship with other international nursing organisations is more strained.

Last April, college members voted in favour of a resolution authorising the RCN council to decide to withdraw from the International Council of Nurses following an extraordinary general meeting.

The RCN council called the meeting after seeing “little progress” in nearly six years of discussions with the ICN over the membership fees it pays to the international body, which has 130 member organisations.


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