Plans to limit RCN members to joining just one professional forum have been put on hold, delegates at RCN Congress heard this week.
Launching the 41 new professional forums at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, chairperson of the forums governance group, Stacy Hunter, said RCN members will still be able to join three forums free of charge.
Plans for the one-forum only rule were approved late last year as part of a shake-up that saw the number of professional forums cut from just under 80 to 41. Although members would be able to access information from other forums via the internet, they would only be allowed membership of one specialist group.
But Ms Hunter promised that the rule would only be implemented if the online communities were effectively catering to forum members’ needs.
‘One of the things I championed was to be able to get to a place where members just belong to one forum,’ Ms Hunter told delegates. ‘But I also gave a commitment that if the online communities weren’t delivering we would not force this issue, and we’ve accepted that we’re not ready to go there yet.
‘We are still going there in terms of the overall journey because I think it’s important that we get to a place where we’ve got an online community vehicle that works for nurses. But we have quite a lot of work still to do to be able to deliver the finished article that people will be satisfied with,’ she added.
The rule will be reviewed later in the year as part of a three-year forums rationalisation project.