The Royal College of Nursing is in talks with the International Council of Nurses over its “disproportionate” fees.
Janet Davies, the college’s executive director of nursing and service delivery, is currently in Geneva discussing the RCN’s failure to pay its full membership fee of the global federation.
The ICN includes more than 130 national nurses associations from around the world and its membership fee is based on the number of members of each organisation.
Speaking at RCN Congress today, chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “Because of ICN’s fee structure an organisation like the RCN pays disproportionately more fees than virtually every other nursing organisation, other than the Japanese.”
He told delegates that when he was appointed to his post at the RCN in 2007, it paid “just over” £400,000 a year to the ICN.
But he warned that due to the ICN using the Swiss Frank and current inflation rates, the RCN would have had to pay £700,000 this year.
Mr Carter said that, as a result of the fee hike, RCN council had “decided to support the approach that we have unilaterally said we are not going to pay that amount of money, because it is totally disproportionate”.
Instead, the college chose to pay £200,000 this year, which Mr Carter described as “still a hell of a lot”.
“They have a meeting this week….and we are making it clear that they have to change their way of working,” he added. “We simply could not justify £700,000 worth of members’ money.”
However, he did not clarify whether the college was considering leaving the ICN if it failed to lower its fees.