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Welcome to RCN Wales

Here you'll find news, events and opinions covering the health care issues in Wales, including the work the RCN does with the National Assembly for Wales, support for members and training and development opportunities brought to you by the RCN Wales Professional Practice Department.  At this point in time the content of this section of the website is only available in English.

Croeso i RCN Cymru

Fan hyn, fe welwch newyddion, digwyddiadau a barnau sy'n ymdrin â'r materion gofal iechyd yng Nghymru, sy'n cynnwys y gwaith a wnawn gyda Chynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru, cymorth i aelodau a chyfleoedd hyfforddi a datblygu a gyflwynwyd i chi gan Athrofa RCN Cymru. Ar hyn o bryd, mae cynnwys y rhan hon o'r wefan ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.  

Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill: e-Petition 

As you may already be aware, RCN in Wales has been working closely with Kirsty Williams AM regarding her proposed legislation, 'Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill'. Evidence from around the world has demonstrated the relationship between safe staffing levels and better outcomes for both the patient and the nursing workforce alike - we would like to see safe nurse staffing levels become enshrined in law to ensure these positive outcomes for Wales. In addition to the work RCN in Wales has undertaken regarding this Bill, members have also been pro-active in showing their support, whether lobbying their local Assembly Members or individually raising awareness.

Retired RCN member, Richard Jones MBE, has set-up an online petition, via the National Assembly for Wales website, in support of the Bill. Please take 30 seconds to sign the e-petition and spread the news of this to your friends, family and colleagues: Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill e-Petition

The RCN will also be giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee in January, however, Assembly Members value hearing the views of frontline nurses and members of the public and will give those views a lot of weight when they are considering the Bill. Please e-mail the Health and Social Care Committee via SeneddHealth@Assembly.Wales with a short statement of support - your comments on this are truly valued.

The time to make real change is now, but we need your help to make that change. For further details on how you can support the Bill, please go to our dedicated web page: Safe Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Bill

RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year calendar 2015

To commemorate this year's Nurse of the Year Awards, RCN in Wales has created a 2015 calendar! The calendar celebrates these prestigious awards with professionally shot images of finalists whilst also showing key highlights from the evening itself. The calendar reflects the celebratory spirit of the evening and recognises the great achievements of nurses working in Wales. Not only is the calendar a fantastic way to re-live the celebrations of the evening but it will also include the dates of key RCN events in 2015. 

The calendar is now available to purchase at a price of £10.00, including postage and package. Email nurseoftheyearawards@rcn.org.uk and order your copy today!

NHS Wales Pay update: The RCN Wales position

A letter from Gaynor Jones, Chair of the RCN Welsh Board and RCN Council Member for Wales:

As you will be aware, the RCN has been engaged in an enduring pay campaign following the announcement of a pay award in July (for Wales). During this time, the RCN has been engaged in partnership with other Trade Union colleagues, employers and Government officials to agree an improvement to the pay award of NHS Wales’s staff.

Throughout these discussions, the RCN position has been consistently to argue the recommendations of the Pay Review Body (UK) should be applied in Wales (as in Scotland). Anything less than this would undermine the future of national (UK) pay structures and devalues our members. Following extensive discussions, the All-Wales Partnership Forum could not agree a single option to recommend to the Minister for consideration and two options were submitted for a Ministerial decision:

1. The RCN option of 1% for all NHS staff, consolidated award, payable from October 2014, with a further 1% uplift payable from April 2015. All other aspects of the original offer remain-(incremental progression, living wage).This was an affordable option.

2. AWPF preferred option of £187 one off lump sum, pro rata and non-consolidated to all NHS staff (subject to deductions) and 1% uplift from April 2015. All other aspects of the original offer remain.

In discussion at the All Wales Partnership Forum, the RCN were in a minority position with all other trade unions and were effectively ‘outvoted’ in determining a preferred option, which the Health Minister ultimately accepted and will now be paid in January 2015. The RCN (Wales) has to accept that we are in a minority position but do not accept the pay award in Wales and it is not a matter which has been negotiated. We consider therefore the pay award will be imposed in Wales and reject the arguments supporting the settlement as the best option for our members.

The RCN (UK) will continue their pay campaign (‘What if’) to secure an improved settlement for our members in Northern Ireland and England. As part of this campaign we also will be fighting to ensure that national pay on a four country basis continues through the agreed scheme (Agenda for Change) through the NHS Staff Council and for the Independent Pay Review Body to continue and be tasked with recommending future pay awards. The RCN in Wales remains committed to this campaign.

RCN officials and activists will be meeting in the next few days to consider the current situation and what ‘next steps’ should be taken. We have reservations around the current financial situation in Wales, sustainability of services within the current financial settlement, how nurses are valued, recruited and retained and future ‘cuts’ which will arise as a legacy of the pay settlement. As we approach a General Election in May 2015 and National Assembly Elections in 2016, the influence of nurses will be significant. 


Return to Practice course 

If you are a nurse who has had a career break and would like to return to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, you will need to complete a Return to Practice (RTP) programme. Successful completion of the RTP programme will provide you with the necessary clinical skills and knowledge to allow you to apply for nursing posts.

The NMC requirements to retain registration are to demonstrate that you complete 450 hours of practice within each three year re-registration period. Registered practice, as well as direct patient care, can also involve supervisory, teaching, research and managerial work. You also need to complete 35 hours of learning activity. The NMC revalidation project is currently reviewing the above, with a view to implementing changes on 31st December, 2015. Details are available at: http://www.nmc-uk.org/Nurses-and-midwives/Revalidation/

Finding a RTP course:

The NMC has a database of approved courses at: http://www.nmc-uk.org/Approved-Programmes/. We advise that you also contact local universities and NHS trusts to see if RTP courses are being run in your area:

Swansea University

University of South Wales

Bangor University

Cardiff University


Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Annual Conference 2015 & Betsi Cadwaladr Scholarship Foundation Award for 2015

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Wales holds an annual showcase conference in order to invigorate nurses and midwives and reaffirm their enthusiasm and pride in their profession by sharing good practice, debating new ideas and celebrating successes. For this event, being held on Wednesday 13 May 2015, the CNO are inviting health care professionals to submit an abstract for either an oral and or/poster presentation on best practice or innovation in the delivery of care, with a focus on organizational approaches as well as individual schemes. This is an opportunity to present to a large audience of influential individuals on a topic that you feel passionate about. All entrants will need to submit their idea by 06 February 2015.

The Royal College of Nursing in Wales is once again administering the Betsi Cadwaladr Scholarship Foundation Awards for 2015 on behalf of Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales. This award will be presented at the CNO Conference. The award is open to Registered Nurses, Midwives and Specialist Community Public Health Nurses working in practice, education, research & development or health care management in Wales. Further information:

Betsi Cadwaladr Scholarship Foundation Award flyer
(Word 133KB)

Betsi Cadwaladr Scholarship Foundation Award criteria (Word 32KB)

Please note - completed applications need to be returned to betsi.cadwaladr@rcn.org.uk by Friday 21 February 2014.