Profile: Deborah Rozansky, Royal College of Nursing - Taking care of the nurses/Deborah Rozansky prepares to give round the clock care to nurses

The Royal College of Nursing’s new director of corporate affairs Deborah Rozansky has a rare mixture of passion, intellect and ambition - a perfect combination for someone who thinks she may go into politics.

The Royal College of Nursing’s new director of corporate affairs

Deborah Rozansky has a rare mixture of passion, intellect and ambition -

a perfect combination for someone who thinks she may go into


Rozansky began her apprenticeship in the world of public affairs while

still a child in San Diego, California: ’My family always discussed

current events, that was part of my environment. I was raised to feel

that I had a contribution to make to the larger community, and not only

that I was able to do so, but that I had to do so,’ she recalls.

Her father was a doctor and her mother a teacher. It isn’t hard to guess

how all this affected her political views. ’You can call me a Democrat,’

she laughs. ’I will even admit that I voted for President Clinton.’ But

she isn’t waiting around for politicians to solve the public health

problems on which she has focused. ’Problems don’t cause inertia with

me, they light fires beneath me,’ she says.

In her last job, she created and ran the State of Ohio’s Office of

Women’s Health, which undertook research and gave advice on women’s

health issues.

Former Ohio state senator Karen Gillmor describes her as extremely


’She really was able to put in place a very innovative programme for

which she had no previous example to follow,’ says Gillmor. ’She has

very high expectations of herself,’ continues Gillmor. ’She is

definitely a high achiever.’

As director of corporate affairs at the Royal College of Nursing,

Rozansky will oversee more than 20 people who work on parliamentary,

media, marketing and communications and international affairs. It is a

demanding brief for anyone, and especially for Rozansky, who lived in

the US until last December.

She agrees: ’Obviously coming to the UK, and not having a lot of the

knowledge about the National Health Service, puts me on a vertical

learning curve.

’It’s an amazing challenge to try and grasp all of the issues and all

the dimensions of the issues. But I’m extremely fortunate to have

competent, experienced staff to help me to understand all the issues.

And I learn quickly.’

She says she must also discover RCN members’ real views. The union’s

week-long annual congress, which begins on 20 April, should help. ’But,’

adds Rozansky, ’if I think about some of the issues facing nurses in the

UK, they’re the same as issues facing nurses internationally, namely how

nurses are undervalued. This is evidenced by nurses being underpaid,

recruitment and retention problems, working conditions and scope of

practices issues - for instance their authority to prescribe


After her masters degree at the University of California at Los Angeles

School of Public Health in 1986, she won a Presidential Management

Intern Programme fellowship and spent nine months working in Congress

with the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with public finances.

Rozansky describes this as ’a tremendous experience, probably the most

influential experience of my entire career’. Her committee work included

creating controversial new legislation to fill gaps in the programme of

US government-run medical insurance for the old.

’I learned a lot about public relations as a result of that particular

piece of legislation - how to do things, how not to do things, how

things are interpreted, what perception is and how perception is truly

reality for most people,’ says Rozansky.

So does she have political ambitions? She laughs. ’It depends on the day

you ask me. What detracts from being in politics, at least from a US

perspective, is all the fundraising that’s required and the difficulties

associated with that. You really can’t find the time just to do your job

because you’re always raising money.’

Rozansky adds that at present her priority is her two young


’But I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. Not at all. I think I’ve

always been interested.’



Programme director for government relations, Hospital Council,



Worked on communications, marketing and leadership training at the

Wexner Foundation


Chief of the Office of Women’s Health Initiative, Ohio


Appointed director of coporate affairs, Royal College of Nursing

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