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The big question: should the RCN split its professional and trade union functions?

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The government has suggested that a “clearer distinction” between the professional and trade union functions of the Royal College of Nursing would boost its authority.

The Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust Public Inquiry report, published last month, warned there was an “inherent conflict” between the two roles of the RCN, which may “diminish the authority of its voice on professional issues”.

In its response to the Francis report last week, the government agreed, saying: “The Royal College of Nursing has an important role in developing and promoting the art, science and practice of nursing. The government believes a clearer distinction between its professional and trade union roles, both important, would enhance the authority of its work.”

Do you think there should be a “clearer distinction” between the RCN’s roles?

Your comments could be published in Nursing Times.

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