Welcome. These pages introduce the Principles of Nursing Practice.
The Principles describe what everyone can expect from nursing practice, whether colleagues, patients, their families or carers.
The Principles were developed by the Royal College of Nursing in partnership with the Department of Health (England), the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and patient and service user organisations.
This is nursing
Working with health care organisations to embed the Principles is part of the RCN’s ongoing commitment to high quality care and is one of the seven key areas of work within the This is nursing initiative which highlights the skills and expertise of nurses.
For news and updates see the dedicated website at This is nursing.
Development of measures
Two reports have been published on studies undertaken by the RCN towards the development of measures to assess the quality of advanced and specialist nursing services, including the development of a patient evaluation questionnaire.
- Patient outcomes of specialist nursing services: An RCN quality improvement initiative (PDF 1.2MB)
- Views from advanced and specialist nurses on national, regional and local nursing measures: an RCN survey (PDF 841.3KB)
For further details see Measuring up to the Principles – next steps.
How to use the site
Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, explains the importance of the Principles of Nursing Practice in the purpose. You can also read messages of support for the Principles including messages from patient and user groups.
The full text of the Principles is available in the Principles.
Pages for each of the Principles pointing to activities and resources to support their use can be accessed from the left hand menu of this resource. These will be updated to reflect new developments as they occur.
- You can find out about how the Principles are being used and read the examples.
- Frequently asked questions about the Principles can be found in you and the Principles.
- An explanation of the relationship between the Principles and other publications is available in how the Principles relate.
- You can also see an animation using stories to animate the Principles on the story wall.
- You can learn more about how the Principles can be used to evaluate in measuring up to the Principles.
- The RCN has several publications relating to the Principles of Nursing Practice available. For details see Principles publications.
If you have any comments or enquiries regarding this resource please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.