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Royal College of Nursing appoints new leader


The Royal College of Nursing has appointed Janet Davies, its current director of nursing and service delivery, to be its next chief executive and general secretary.

Ms Davies will take over from present incumbent Peter Carter, who has been in the role for eight years, in July.

She has been an RCN director for the last nine years, much of which has been spent as Mr Carter’s deputy.

“I am delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the world’s largest professional union of nursing staff”

Janet Davies

Prior to joining the RCN, she was chief executive of the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service.

Mr Carter announced he was stepping down in February, sparking a search for candidates to fill one of the highest profile roles in UK nursing.

Michael Brown, chair of RCN Council, said the decision to appoint Ms Davies as chief executive and general secretary was “unanimous”.

He said he thought she would be a “strong” general secretary and that under her leadership the RCN would “continue to be very powerful as a royal college and trade union”.

The dual role of the college has been questioned in recent years, in particular by the Francis report in care failings at the former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Mr Brown added: “There is no mistaking her ambitions for the organisation, her passion for nursing and healthcare and her commitment to the RCN and its future.

“I very much look forward to working with Janet in her new role over the next few years,” he said.

“I know she will do a great job of building on the many strengths of the RCN”

Peter Carter

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Davies said she was both “delighted and honoured” to be given the opportunity to lead the college.

“I have been an RCN member for over 20 years, and have been proud to work for an organisation that does so much to promote nursing and high quality patient care,” she said.

“These are challenging times for nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, and I will work to ensure that their talent and dedication is properly recognised and that their voice continues to be heard loudly and clearly in the debate about the future shape of healthcare in the UK,” she said.


CV: Janet Davies

Ms Davies has been an executive director of the RCN since September 2005.

Her areas of work at the RCN cover professional nursing, policy, employment relations, international and learning and development.

She started her nursing career in Manchester, gaining experience in acute, mental health and community settings before moving into director of nursing roles.

Prior to joining the RCN, Ms Davies was chief executive of Mersey Regional Ambulance Service NHS Trust, where she was credited with overseeing an extensive programme of change and development.


Mr Carter said he was “delighted” that his deputy would be taking over the top job.

“As the RCN’s director of nursing and service delivery, she has been an inspiring and energetic colleague, who has put nursing at the forefront of everything she does,” he said.

“I know she will do a great job of building on the many strengths of the RCN,” he added.



Peter Carter, CEO of The Royal College of Nursing, seen here at thier offices in Cavendish Square, December 2011


Readers' comments (6)

  • I don't think so !

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  • Congratulations to Janet Davies and well done. Looking forward to continuing working with supporting the RCN in the excellent work they do for nursing and nurses.

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  • another one who will not care a stuff about nurses

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  • This is excellent news for the RCN and for nursing not just in the UK, but globally. Janet Davies is someone of incredible integrity. A very welcome appointment.

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  • Anonymous

    If she was peter carter wing woman and still they could not effect salary changes or achieve a good deal with the health minister.

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  • Now that the tories have an overall majority they will do whatever they please and we all know that is ultimately to privatise privatise privatise and maximise profits for a select few.
    The RCN like all unions is now a toothless old hound all they can do is sit back and watch while this government destroys everything that our predesessors fought to establish, so good luck but given the past history of the RCN one can only assume that they will continue to ask how far the government would like us to bend over while they shaft us.

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