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RCN Online | 8th May 2006
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Sylvia Denton CBE OBE FRCN
President of the Royal College of Nursing

Click here for a larger imageSylvia Denton has been an active member of the RCN for many years and helped found the RCN Breast Care Nursing Society. She served on RCN Council from 1998 to 2002 as Deputy President, before being elected President of the RCN in October 2002. She is now serving her second presidential term.

Sylvia began her nursing career with a qualification in general nursing from the Royal London Hospital. She practised in the area of thoracic medicine, becoming a research sister and clinical nurse specialist. She also qualified and practised as a specialist health visitor for homeless families.

Since 1980 Sylvia has worked in cancer nursing, specialising in the care of people with breast cancer. She has worked as a clinical nurse specialist, research nurse, clinical nurse manager and as commissioning nurse for a large oncology unit. Her Master’s degree is in advanced clinical practice in cancer nursing.

For her pioneering and innovatory work in the new field of breast care nursing, Sylvia was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in 1990.

Sylvia was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours (2006) for services to health care. She was also awarded an OBE in 1996. In 1998 she won the Nursing Standard Nurse 98 Cancer Nursing Award.

Today she is Lead Nurse/Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist in breast care at Barts and the London NHS Trust. Sylvia also chairs the editorial board of the journal Cancer Nursing Practice.

Sylvia is the immediate past president of Europa Donna UK and serves on its board. Europa Donna is a pan-European organisation which campaigns on issues for women with breast cancer. In 2003 she was elected as a member of the Steering Group of the European Forum for Nursing and Midwifery Associations. Sylvia has been a member of the Department of Health’s Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee since 1998. As a breast care nurse and RCN representative Sylvia has given evidence both to Select Committees of the Westminster Parliament and to the European Parliament.

Eirlys Warrington
Chair of the Council of the Royal College of Nursing

Click here for a larger imageEirlys is well known to RCN members in Wales, where she has served as Chair of the Welsh Board for the past four years.

Eirlys’s nurse training began in 1960 at Macclesfield Infirmary and West Park Branch. She then worked at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary before training as a mental health nurse at St Edwards Hospital. A ward manager role in orthopaedic and trauma nursing at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary was followed by a move to the Accident and Emergency Department to become part of the developing M6 motorway accident team.

Eirlys returned to Wales in 1970, spending two years as a night sister covering all wards plus accident and emergency at the Royal Gwent Hospital. She went on to work in acute psychiatry at St Cadoc's hospital in Newport where she developed ‘one to one’ nursing of people with anorexia nervosa.

At this point Eirlys was selected to represent Gwent Health Authority, at national level, to train as an expert in caring for people with HIV/AIDS. By the early 1980s she had joint responsibility for the development of the nursing service in Gwent. In 1986 she joined the planning team for the first course in Wales on the care and management of people with HIV/AIDS, later becoming a facilitator and lecturer for the course.

As a pioneer in the nursing care of people with HIV/AIDS across acute and community settings in Wales, Eirlys was for many years the only dedicated HIV/AIDS nurse in the county.

Throughout her career Eirlys has been an active member of the Royal College of Nursing. Her contribution has ranged from stewarding and recruitment to speaking at national and international conferences.

Dr Beverly Malone
General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing

Click here for a larger imageBeverly Malone began her nursing career with a first degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 1970. She combined further study with clinical practice and received her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1981.

Her career has mixed policy, education, administration and clinical practice. Dr Malone has worked as a surgical staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, director of nursing and assistant administrator of nursing. During the 1980s she was Dean of the School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

In 1996 she was elected for two terms as President of the American Nurses Association (ANA), representing 180,000 nurses in the USA. In 2000 she became deputy assistant secretary for health within the US Department of Health and Human Services, the highest position so far held by any nurse in the US government.

Dr Malone became General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, the UK's largest professional union of nurses, in June 2001. The RCN has a membership of over 370,000 nurses, midwives, health visitors, nursing students, cadets and health care assistants.

As General Secretary, Dr Malone is a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). She also represents the RCN at the pan-European nursing body, the Standing Committee of Nurses of the EU, the Commonwealth Nurses Federation and the International Council of Nurses.

Carol Davidson
Executive Director, Corporate Services

Click here for a larger imageCarol qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in 1985. In 1988 she moved into the voluntary sector with Save the Children Fund (SCF), work which involved travelling to SCF projects in the UK and around the world. She soon became SCF's Head of Finance.

In 1995 she moved on to become Director of Finance and IT at Stonham Housing Association, the largest provider of supported housing to single homeless people in the UK. During her time there Stonham underwent significant organisational change. It produced its first Strategic Plan, and became part of a larger Housing Association group structure.

Carole joined the RCN in September 2000 as their Finance Director. In 2002 she took on the new role of Executive of Corporate Services at the RCN.

Janet Davies
Executive Director, Service Delivery

Click here for a larger image Janet Davies joined the RCN as Executive Director of Service Delivery in September 2005. She has the strategic lead on member services, including pay negotiations, diversity, RCN Direct, legal services, marketing and the RCN counselling services.

Prior to joining RCN, Janet was Chief Executive of Mersey Regional Ambulance Service NHS Trust, where she was instrumental in overseeing an extensive programme of change and development, helping to secure government funding for more ambulances and staff. She closely involved patients and the public to help design the delivery of care, transforming the organisation into a more patient focused service.

Janet started her nursing career in 1975, in Manchester, and gained experience in acute, mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organisations, as well as social services, the police, the fire service and the wider community.

Professor Alison Kitson RN, BSc(Hons), PhD, FRCN
Executive Director, Nursing

Click here for a larger imageAlison is responsible for leading on the RCN's professional nursing agenda, and delivering its mission to represent nurses and nursing, promote excellence in practice and shape health policies.

She was previously Director of the RCN Institute, responsible for the delivery of professional development, education and clinical practice support services to members. As Director she supported the development of a number of innovative projects including the widely acclaimed Clinical Leadership Programme, the RCN Learning Zone, an e-learning venture with three higher education establishments and an extensive set of practice-based research programmes.

Alison has a distinguished academic and professional career. In 1991 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing for her work on Standards of Care. She is a supernumerary Fellow of Green College Oxford, holds a number of Visiting and Honorary Chairs and in 2001 was awarded Distinguished Graduate of the Year from her old university, University of Ulster.

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