Association of Coloproctology Nurses

ACPN supports the professional development and education of nurses and allied health professionals specialising in any area of coloproctology, including colorectal cancer, pelvic floor disorders, endoscopy, stoma care, IBD and genetics.

Association of Coloproctology Nurses

What ACPN does

ACPN works with the ACPGBI to advance the science of coloproctology and promotes the integral role of nurse specialists and allied health professionals within the colorectal multidisciplinary team.

ACPN maintains strong collaborative relationships with charities and other nursing associations working to promote excellent clinical care for patients with colorectal disease.


ACPN is an ACPGBI sister organisation and represented at all levels of the organisation. ACPGBI affiliate members automatically become ACPN members.

Membership of ACPN is an opportunity to take charge of your career, strengthen your network and broaden your knowledge. Benefits include:

  • Guidance and resources to facilitate career management.
  • National educational events to broaden and deepen specialist knowledge and keep abreast of new developments in coloproctology.
  • A regional nursing representative for each ACPGBI Chapter to keep members in their region abreast of ACPGBI-sponsored local events and to disseminate information regarding developments in clinical practice.
  • Opportunities for networking, collaboration, peer support and mentorship.
  • Representation of the interests of members of the ACPN within ACPGBI.
  • An annual ACPN symposium embedded within the ACPGBI annual meeting, facilitating access to specialist content provided within the wider ACPGBI programme.
  • Free or discounted rates, plus help with travel expenses, for many associated educational and networking events.
  • A discounted rate for the ACPGBI journal, Colorectal Disease.

If you would like to become a member of the ACPGBI and the ACPN, please complete the online application form as an affiliate member.

Committee members

Area Member
East Anglia Gabrielle Thorpe (Vice Chair)
North West Thames Vacant
South East Thames Samantha Seker (Maternity Leave)
South West Thames Carol Katte
Debbie Cottrell (deputy)
Oxford Jay Bradbury
South Western Vacant
Trent Maria Pettman (Chair)
South Wales Alison Turner
Wessex Nichola Richards
Julie Lane
West Midlands Vacant
Republic of Ireland Oonagh Staunton

Meet the Chair: Maria Pettman
Nurse Consultant in Nottingham and Derby

Photo of Maria PettmanThere are several key components to my role, they are lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, including screening and therapeutic endoscopy, Colorectal outpatient clinics seeing target, routine and follow up patients, facilitating our direct to test pathways and leading a team of Gastrointestinal Nurse Specialists in Nottingham. I am also training Lead for a private healthcare provider in Nottingham who run the Nottingham Diagnostic Treatment Centre predominantly treating NHS patients. My passion is performing colonoscopy. I have been scoping since 1999 and love every minute of this work. I have trained numerous clinicians over the years both nurses and doctors and endeavour to ensure that the highest standards are met in my teams practice and by my trainees.

I completed my RGN training at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckingham, where I remained for a couple of years after qualifying, working on a general surgical ward but treating mainly colorectal and urology patients.  I then spent 18 months travelling in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. During this time, I was lucky enough to find agency work in remote parts of Australia working with the indigenous communities. I gained much insight into a very different and fascinating way of life and developed a new respect for the integral part nature plays in our health and wellbeing.

On my return to the UK, I moved to Nottingham and started work in an acute oncology unit. I was there for 6 years and completed my oncology diploma as well as becoming a junior sister.  When the job of Colorectal Nurse Practitioner was advertised at our neighbouring hospital, I jumped at the opportunity, it seemed the perfect job to combine my colorectal and oncology experience together with new skills and training. I was appointed to the role and spent the next few years learning how to perform lower GI endoscopy and managing patients’ lower GI conditions and disease. I then went to manage a large team of Colorectal Nurse Specialists as well as running my own independent endoscopy lists and outpatient clinics. In addition to my practical training, I also completed an MSc in Advanced Nurse Practice and the Nurse Prescribing course.

These days I work full time but across two sites. My typical day will be a four-hour endoscopy list, a quick lunch and then a four-hour outpatient clinic. Remaining hours will be spent doing my clinical admin, ie results letters, patient queries, vetting referrals for outpatients and endoscopy. I meet regularly with my team and discuss clinical issues as well as training opportunities and ways in which we can improve our practice by carrying out studies and audit. Time is also allocated in facilitating training for the endoscopy trainees at the Nottingham Treatment centre. As nurse Consultant, my role is also to update, review and rewrite specific guidelines, competencies etc