The Royal College of Nursing has today announced it has elected a new president for 2023.
Sheila Sobrany will take up the role from 1 January 2023, after receiving the most member votes out of the four candidates standing for election.
“I will work each day of my term to lead the RCN in tackling and rooting out the poor behaviours identified in the Carr Review”
Ms Sobrany, who currently sits on the RCN London Board and is a course leader in adult nursing at the University of East London, will take over from the current president Dr Denise Chaffer.
She will be in post for two years and will act as an ambassador to the nursing profession, and represent the RCN to its members, stakeholders and the public.
The college said Ms Sobrany’s key priorities were “securing fair pay for nursing staff, reducing pressures on the profession and tackling racism, bullying, harassment and discrimination of health care workers”.
The president-elect will also serve as a full member of RCN Council, which has recently come under fire following the publication of the findings of the Carr Review.
Led by Bruce Carr KC, the independent review into the culture of the RCN exposed issues of bullying, misogyny and a lack of diversity within RCN council.
Last week RCN members passed a vote of no confidence in the RCN governing council, which called for council members, who held office during the period that was examined in the Carr Review, to step down and to not put themselves forward for future elected roles within the college.
On the matter, Ms Sobrany said: “I will work each day of my term to lead the RCN in tackling and rooting out the poor behaviours identified in the Carr Review and hold to account anybody who tries to perpetuate them.
“The culture of the organisation and how it works must change, and I will dedicate myself to that ambition, carrying with me the support and aspiration of each member.”
The RCN president-elect said she was “deeply honoured” to take on the role at a critical time for nurses, nursing and the college.
Ms Sobrany said: “I will lead on the core issues identified in my campaign: making the RCN strong for members, not least in our campaigns for fair pay and patient safety, and advocating clearly for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
She added that as a professional college and trade union, they “must foster a strong sense of unity and belonging” for its members.
“As your new RCN president, I cannot do this without you and I need your support to make this possible,” she said.
Nursing Times recently interviewed Ms Sobrany around the work she has been doing with nursing students in London to support them with volunteering opportunities to enhance their understanding of diverse groups within the local community.