We are proud to support nurses, midwives and health care assistants to deliver the best possible patient care. We do this by representing them and supporting their professional development throughout their careers, while promoting the unique and vital contribution they make to patients’ wellbeing and recovery. We are the largest professional nursing union in the world and we use our strength and influence to shape health policy both nationally and internationally.
Our achievements therefore can vary from enabling an individual nurse to return to work following a period of stress-related absence, to successfully introducing a European Union directive on the safe disposal of sharps: needles and blades used in medical and nursing care. It is as a result of our campaigning that patients and health care workers are now better protected from injury and the spread of blood-borne infections.
Within the UK we work to influence politicians, employers and health organisations to adopt policies that will protect or improve patient care and make optimum use of skilled nursing staff. Our evidence on safe staffing levels - developed as part of our Frontline First campaign - has now won through and is national policy in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We continue to campaign to see the policies adopted in the four countries of the UK implemented and funded on the ground. Find out more about our current campaigns below.
A selection of our recent achievements
In 2014 we:
- provided representation for 23,779 members in 7,145 workplaces
- supported 1,288 members who had been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council
- managed 250,000 contacts through our contact centre RCN Direct
- delivered 4,751 counselling sessions for our members
- negotiated to prevent homelessness for 24 of our members
- welcomed over 60,000 visitors to our libraries and archives collection
- contributed to 269 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) consultations, involving more than 2,000 of our members
- recovered over £7.4million in compensation for our members.