Dignity - RCN publications

The RCN has published various materials and resources on dignity and related topics to inspire improvements in practice and the quality of care for patients and clients.

You can download all electronic publications from the RCN free of charge. Hard copies of  publications can be ordered from RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100. Please quote publication codes when ordering.

Most publications listed on this page are in PDF format - see how to access PDF files

Campaign publications and resources

Dignity campaign pack (2009) (PDF 38.4KB)
The Dignity campaign pack (which cannot be downloaded) is available to purchase from RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100. £20 for non-members, £16 for RCN members. Bulk discount for orders of over 10 copies: £15 per pack for non-members, £12 per pack for RCN members. The campaign pack is ideal for promoting dignity in your workplace. The pack contains: practice support pack, influencing resource, 10 x pocket guide, 2 x posters, 1 x flyer and 10 x pens. (Publication code: 003 291). The link is to a flyer about the pack.

Dignity - dignity workshop poster (2008) (PDF 133.0KB)
Accompanying support material for dignity workshops for use with Delivering dignified care: a practice support pack for workshop facilitators. (Publication code: 003 295).

Dignity: dignity workshop worksheet (2008) (PDF 90.8KB)
Accompanying support material for dignity workshops for use with Delivering dignified care: a practice support pack for workshop facilitators. (Publication code: 003 297).

Dignity - dignity workshop certificate of attendance (2008) (PDF 98.0KB)
Accompanying support material for dignity workshops for use with Delivering dignified care: a practice support pack for workshop facilitators. (Publication code: 003 296).

Dignity - Information poster 1 (PDF 133.5KB)
To be put up on notice board in any care setting to promote dignity. (Publication code: 003 290).

Dignity - Information poster 2 (PDF 268.7KB)
To be put up on notice board in any care setting to promote dignity. (Publication code: 003 289).

Dignity - a pocket guide (2008) (PDF 1.8MB)
Quick portable reference to make dignity a priority when on the go, contains the RCN definition of dignity and quick and simple ideas to get you thinking about how dignity relates to 'places, people and processes'.  Members £1.90 Non members £2.20 Orders of 10 or more guides: Members £1.50 Non-members £1.80 (Publication code: 003 292).

Dignity: Small changes make a big difference (2nd ed. 2009) (PDF 314.3KB)
Our influencing resource aims to help members of the nursing team develop their influencing skills and take practical steps towards maintaining and promoting dignity in their workplace. The pack is £5 for non-members, £4 for RCN members. There is also a discount for bulk orders of over 10 packs: £3.75 for non-members, £3 for members. (Publication code: 003 285).

Dignity - RCN Definition of Dignity (2008) (PDF 77.2KB)
This flyer presents a definition of dignity and what it involves. (Publication code: 003 298).

Dignity - A&E Poster:English (2008) (PDF 560.5KB)
This A3 poster available in English and Welsh has been developed by the RCN's Emergency Care Association in collaboration with the Patient's Association and outlines a set of basic dignity care principles. The principles are designed to reinforce the minimum standards that patients can expect when accessing emergency health care. The poster is designed to be displayed prominently in the waiting rooms of emergency departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres. (Publication code: 003 258).
For the Welsh version see Dignity - A&E Poster: Welsh  (2008)(PDF 180.0KB) (Publication code: 003 259).
Both posters can be ordered for free from RCN Direct at 0345 772 6100. 

Defending dignity - Challenges and opportunities for nursing (2008) (PDF 2.2MB)
This report written by Leslie Baillie, Ann Gallagher and Paul Wainwright, is based on an RCN membership survey of more than more than 2,000 nurses, students and health care assistants. Carried out in February-March 2008, the survey investigated participants' awareness of dignity and the barriers that prevent dignified care being given to patients and clients in a wide range of environments. It includes recommendations for action from government, organisations and individuals. (Publication code: 003 257).

The RCN wish to thank Smith and Nephew for their unrestricted educational grant which supported the Dignity: at the heart of everything we do campaign during 2008/2009. 

Grateful thanks also to Help the Aged who worked with the Royal College of Nursing to develop Delivering dignified care: a practice support pack for workshop facilitators.

Further RCN publications and online resources

This online resource supports the RCN's commitment to the care of people with dementia in general hospitals. The commitment sets out key principles and considerations for promoting a positive experience for people with dementia and their families and can be used by staff to help support improvements and make positive changes. View the Commitment. The commitment is also supported by a range of resources that can be used by nursing staff to improve dementia care.

First steps for health care assistants
This resource has been developed as a self-directed learning programme. It aims to help health care assistants (HCAs) individually or as part of a workplace induction programme learn, at their own pace, the most important factors in getting started in their career as an HCA. These are basic principles which underpin HCA work in every context. It includes sections on person-centred care, preserving people's dignity and communication.

Older people resource
This brings together a range of resources that can inform and support care for older people. This includes information and publications from work that the RCN has been carrying out on older people's care such as the guidance on safe staffing levels for older people’s wards. There is a best practice gallery highlighting examples of good practice in older people’s care and demonstrating the RCN Principles of Nursing Practice, and policy and guidance from across the UK are also signposted. 

Principles of Nursing Practice
The Principles of Nursing Practice describe what everyone can expect from nursing practice, whether colleagues, patient, their families or carers. Principle A makes clear the importance of dignity in delivering quality nursing care. You can find out more about this and the other Principles in this resource - how they were developed, how they are being used and how they can be measured.

This resource aims to help RCN members locate information that is practical, useful, relevant and adaptable in different settings. Resources are arranged under the headings: adult; children and young people; vulnerable people; safeguarding professionals.

“A person’s spirituality, whether religious or non-religious, provides belief structures and ways of coping through which people begin to rebuild and make sense of their lives in times of trauma and distress. It offers ways in which people can explain and cope with their illness experiences...". This resource has been created to enable nursing staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of spirituality and spiritual care. It was created in response to RCN membership who identified the need for the nursing family to be able to be proactive in delivering spiritual care, and it builds on the RCN spirituality pocket guide published in 2011. Links to relevant RCN publications are provided as well as links to other resources and publications on spiritual care.

Dignity in health care for people with learning disabilities (2010) (PDF 1.1MB)
This publication focuses on the experiences of people with learning disabilities, areas for improvement in relation to dignity, practical ideas on what nurses can do to improve dignity and sources of further information and support. It also includes information relating to the particular health needs that people with learning disabilities may have, and provides guidance on working in collaboration with other service providers. (Publication code 003 553).

An ageing population: Education and practice preparation for nursing students learning to work with older people. A resource pack for nursing students (2008) (PDF 1.4MB)
This resource pack is the  result of a joint project between the RCN and Age Concern England (ACE) and considers the education and practice preparation of nursing students in the context of an ageing population. The project arose from continuing negative reports regarding the standards of nursing care for older people who are inpatients in acute hospitals, in particular those admitted as an emergency. The resource aims to promote the need for leadership, effective mentoring, best practice and positive images of nursing older people. (Publication code 003 222).

This page was last reviewed 24 March 2015.