Occupational health nurses must stand united against the RCN

I know the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) doesn’t think much of us OH nurses – it never has – but to get rid of a dedicated adviser for OH is pure madness.

Am I paranoid, or does it seem that the RCN wants shot of us once and for all? If you don’t plod the wards, wear a uniform and adopt the health service martyr mantle, then you don’t fit the RCN spec.

Where was the RCN press release in support of OH nurses when the Black Review was launched? Conspicuous by its absence – don’t you find that strange? I know there’s been a lot of ‘restructuring’ going on there, but in my view, the wrong people went – but isn’t that just typical, too?

The OH adviser got my vote and when I last looked, 1,037 others had pledged their solidarity on the OH nurse social network Jiscmail and support for her re-instatement. Not bad for such a small, insignificant group, don’t you think?

Well, we OH nurses will not be moved! Never have so many fought for so few and such an important cause. I might even chain myself to the railings of RCN HQ in Cavendish Square, and I would if I thought it would make any difference. But all the postings on Jiscmail and all the petitioning in the world will not change the situation for OH at the RCN. But that doesn’t mean we should let them get away with it and adopt the usual ‘hard done by’ attitude. If they think it’s all over and we’ve got it out of our systems, then they’re very much mistaken – we haven’t even started yet.

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