The Royal College of Nursing has announced the election of four new members of its governing body, including for the first time healthcare assistants.
Two new members to represent students have been elected to RCN Council as well as the first two “health practitioner” members to represent HCAs and assistant practitioners.
The new student council members are Claire Jeeves and Gary Stockwell, and the new health practitioner members are Brenda McIlmurray and David Cardwell.
Brenda McIlmurray, whose term on council will run from 17 October 2012 until 31 December 2015, has been an HCA for 15 years and an RCN member since 2007.
She said: “This is a new path that has been built for HCAs and APs. I have no doubt the whole nursing family will support and work with me.
“HCAs and APs are being recognised as unsung heroes and it is wonderful to see these changes.”
David Cardwell, whose term on council will run from 17 October 2012 until 31 December 2013, has worked in the NHS for 17 years and has held roles including nursing auxiliary, HCA, cardiographer, and operating department practitioner.
Claire Jeeves, who will be on council until December 31 2014, represents the South West on the RCN students committee, said it was “fantastic” to be elected:
“I hope to prioritise the importance of effective mentorship and preceptorship for students during and after their training, as well as the importance of good clinical placements for all students.”
Gary Stockwell, who will be on council until December 31 2013, is about to start his second year on a nursing course having had a previous career in the armed forces.
He said: “I’m passionate about nursing and keen to enhance the student placement experience so nursing students can be the best they can be.”