Getting involved in the GPN forum committee
In this new column, Ellen Nicholson, RCN GPN Forum Chair, shares the purpose of the forum and explains how you can get involved
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is often reported to be a member-led organisation, yet from the 600 000 plus members there are, relatively speaking, only a handful who are actively involved in shaping the future voice and policy of nursing. Where is everyone else? Are we content to let others speak for us and shape the future of nursing? Are we just too tired or too busy? Is it someone else's problem? Is shaping nursing really our priority?
The general practice nurse (GPN) forum should be the ideal place for people to test their wings and make their views and voice heard, to shape the current GPN outlook, maybe based on the Sonnet report (2021) or the recent Fuller stocktake report (2022).
Yet of the almost 13 000 RCN GPN forum members, only a handful apply for a space to make their voice heard each year on the committee – where is everyone? Practice nursing as a career has attracted those who have chosen it as a first career destination and nurses who have transferred into primary care from secondary care: surely there must be some people who would like to shape the future? Perhaps the reluctance is down to it being a volunteer rather than a paid role? Perhaps it is worry about time commitments? We have evening meetings generally, and forum commitments are shared equally, dependent on who has time available from the workplace.
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