The Radical Nurses Group has been in existence since November 1980. It has set up by and for nurses in all fields because of the dissatisfaction so many of us have about so many aspects of our jobs.
We wanted a way of getting together, to support each other, to help us feel we're not alone, to moan together perhaps, to discuss our common problems but hope-fully also to act together to change things.
The Radical Nurses Group gives as another framework for ail this besides the unions and 'professional organisations'.
It is early days yet. So far we've had two national meetings in
and London Sheffield and a third is planned for some- time in April in . We've also formed regional groupings from these national ones and are beginning to meet at these and even more local levels— town-wide and in individual hospitals. Manchester
We have no constitution and not even a set of aims and objectives yet. We're trying to remain as decentralised as possible with a group from each area being alternately responsible for organising the next national meeting and producing a newsletter every three months—of which one has been published so far. Some of the issues we feel are important are:
Staff shortages, sex roles and stereo-typing in nursing, nurses, trade unionism and militancy, nurses roles, especially in relation to doctors, lack of emotional support for nurses and many others—the problem is which to tackle first!
The next national meeting is going to debate the idea of professionalism in nursing and hopefully make some kind of coherent statement about what it actually IS, how it is used and whether it is a concept worth having at all. It's a word which is bandied around in hospitals and the nursing press without ever being defined and it's used to stifle criticism and generally oppress nurses.
For more information and details of contacts in your area please send 6 Stamped address envelopes and £1 to receive regular information and newsletter for the next year to
Radical Nurses living in
should contact group at 9 Ryaland Road, London NW5 London
Gay Lee (article Hospital Worker 1981 )
This small grouping (Radical Nurses Group - RNG) did have a significant impact in the area of politics in nursing, particularly in challenging "stero-typing" of nurses. One of the Groups key exponents went on to be Editor of the Nursing Times (Jane Slavage)
The larger and more established, Association of Radical Midwives (ARM) was a separate organisation which pre dated the Radical Nurses Group