Defence Nursing Forum


The RCN Defence Nursing Forum (DNF) aims to represent members of the United Kingdom (UK) regular and reserve armed forces nursing services in developing nursing policy and practice by:

  • developing guidance documents for nurses and HCAs spanning all clinical specialities within defence nursing services
  • carry out research
  • work with other organisations to develop guidance and policy
  • organising conferences and study events to share good practice
  • providing an opportunity to network with other defence nurses and RCN members.

RCN DNF Oral Histories Project

The Royal College of Nursing has been collecting oral histories since 1986 and has captured the lives and experiences of individual nurses dating from the early 20th to the 21st centuries, through two world wars, breakthrough medical developments, the beginnings of the NHS and great social changes. In order to support this on-going project the RCN Defence Nursing Forum is looking to develop the oral histories archives from recent operations.

After 13 years of continuous UK operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are many personal and professional stories to be told.

Throughout 2015 the DNF Steering Committee and Link Members will be running events and inviting members to contribute to the project. We look forward to updating members on the progress of this project throughout the year. In the meantime we have included some documents below which give further background information around the project.

Oral Histories Background Information (PDF 163KB) [How to access PDF files]
Oral Histories Interview Schedule (PDF 6.71KB)
Oral Histories Copyright Statement (PDF 5.51KB)

Strategy Meeting 2015

The committee reflected on what has been a busy year for the forum at their annual strategy meeting which took place on Monday 26 January 2015. At this meeting a number of projects were agreed and we also developed a forecast of events (FoE); which will help keep members up to date on key activities and deadlines within the forum.

This will be another busy year for the forum and it is hoped the strategy will enhance the forum and support you in practice. I look forward to updating you on the progress of these projects throughout the year and meeting you at one of our study events.

C Carter
Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps
Chair RCN Defence Nursing Forum

Joining the forum

If you're not yet a member of the RCN Defence Nursing Forum, what are you waiting for? RCN members can join forums free of charge, and benefits include regular e-newsletters from the forum keeping you up to date on topics such as good practice and forthcoming events. Each forum also has its own area on the RCN's Discussion Zone where you can network with others in your specialty. To join just call RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100 and choose option one.

Re-assigned? Are your membership details up to date?

If you are re-assigned please make sure you update your contact details, so we can keep in touch. You can do this online by logging onto MyRCN.

Defence nursing forum membership

The RCN has always had close links with defence nursing. The launch of the RCN in 1916 was significantly influenced by concerns for nurses providing care to injured service personnel and their families during the Great War. The first president of the RCN was Dame Sydney Browne OBE, RRC, who also served as matron in chief of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Finnegan, 2005). Nearly 100 years later, the RCN Defence Nursing Forum continues to support nurses and health care assistants (HCAs) from the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS), Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) and the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Services (PMRAFNS) who continue to provide care to injured service personnel.

The RCN DNF is the largest professional organisation dedicated to military nurses. Membership is open to all nurses and HCAs, nursing students as well as those with an interest or retired from military service.  There are many benefits of being part of the RCN Defence Nursing Forum these can be found at: http://www.rcn.org.uk/membership/categories/category01/full_member_benefits

Reference: Finnegan A. Chair’s Inuagural letter. Defence Nursing. Spring 2005

The DNF committee

To find out more about the committee and our areas of expertise, visit our meet the team page.

The DNF Facebook Page

For further information on the forum as well as details of upcoming events and the latest news in Defence nursing, please visit the RCN Defence Forum Facebook page. This is a closed group – to join just click on the join group button at the top of the page.


The DNF will publish two newsletters each year. The aim of the newsletters are to update you on DNF projects, outline changes in professional practice relevant to defence nurses, provide you with opportunities for networking and to showcase the excellent work being undertaken within defence nursing.

We would like input from members into our newsletters, therefore if you have any information you would like to be included, please submit them to the Chair, Capt Chris Carter via email

Professional development and study events

Useful information can be found on the forum resources and events and conferences pages


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