Please be advised that you can download all electronic publications from the RCN free of charge. If you wish to order a hard copy of a publication we would be pleased to send you a copy but this will entail a small charge. For more details and to order a hard copy publication please call 0345 772 6100 and select option four.
All publications are in PDF format - see how to access PDF files.
For permission to reproduce RCN copyrighted text, please complete the copyright permission request form (WORD 597KB) and return to the RCN Communications department.
For specific titles relating to work the RCN has done in conjunction with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence please visit our clinical guidelines section.
Publications title search
Latest RCN publications
Publication code: 004 657
Publication date: 30 July 2014
The Government in Westminster has decided NHS staff in England don’t deserve a proper pay rise. That’s outrageous and unfair. This RCN leaflet outlines how you can join the fight for fair pay in England. Find out more at www.rcn.org.uk/whatif
Publication code: 004270
Publication date: 17 October 2012
Revised 2014 edition of a joint publication with the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) Reducing health care associated infections (HCAIs) remains high on the Government's safety and quality agenda and in the general public's expectations of quality of care. Since 2008, there has been a legal requirement on all NHS organisations to implement the Health and Social Care Act (2008) and the Code of Practice for the NHS on the prevention and control of HCAIs. This toolkit, updated in 2014, developed collaboratively with the IPS, provides information for professionals in England involved in the commissioning of infection prevention and control services and forms the basis of an HCAI reduction plan for emerging commissioning organisations. It also suggests indicators to support performance management and assurance against provider contracts.
Publication code: 004853
Publication date: 11 July 2014
This guidance has been developed to provide all nursing staff, practice managers, GPs and other stakeholders with a framework to support nurses employed in general practice. It includes information and links to the essential elements of good employment practice.
Publication code: 004 674
Publication date: 13 June 2014
This new publication reveals findings into an RCN investigation into the extent to which NHS executive team costs are accelerating ahead of staff salaries. Using data secured under the Freedom of Information Act, the report shows that over the last two years, executive team costs have been rising significantly faster than the salaries of nursing staff. The report contains a detailed analysis of reward levels for NHS executive directors and looks at pay levels for NHS senior managers. Finally, it offers five recommendations, with the RCN urging all employers to lead by example and ensure that the rewards for their executive teams mirror those given to the rest of their workforce.
Specialist and advanced children’s and young people’s nursing practice in contemporary health care: guidance for nurses and commissioners (PDF 1.4 MB)
Publication code: 004 579
Publication date: 13 June 2014
This publication looks at children’s nurses’ roles and their practice. It takes into account a changing child health service, where interdisciplinary collaboration and new ways of working are essential when providing services that improve health outcomes. It is aimed at those developing services for children and young people (CYP), for both commissioners and service providers, and for those who commission and provide post registration education for children’s nurses.
Publication code: 004 595
Publication date: 17 June 2014
Designed to be used by nurses, HCAs, and employers, this guidance has been developed to provide an understanding of military nursing and to help develop individual roles, new or existing services, and identify developments in this specialty.
Publication code: 004 596
Publication date: 16 June 2014
Children’s nurses play a pivotal role in an individual’s transition from children’s services to adult services. Many young people are mow living into early adulthood with complex disability and long-term conditions. This publication sets out the RCN perspective of contemporary children’s and young people’s nursing services in primary and community settings and the crucial role community children’s nursing (CCN) performs as the bedrock of integrated care closer to home.
Publication code: 004658
Publication date: 12 June 2014
This publication has been written to inform RCN members of the RCN’s work on seven day care. It looks at the provision of seven day care and what this means for the nursing profession. It is also part of a wider project and we would like members to contribute their views and ideas.
Publication code: 004615
Publication date: 5 June 2014
This booklet outlines how to put yourself forward for an RCN role. Being involved in the RCN will not only benefit you and members, but it will also enhance your skills and expertise. You will find information that signposts you to where to find out more, what roles are available and the importance of voting.
Publication code: 004665
Publication date: 13 June 2014
This briefing paper is part of a series of RCN documents examining the policies and practical arrangements surrounding the integration of health and social care. The paper offers an overview of the current call for integrated health and social care services in England, the rationale behind the push for integration, the facilitators and barriers to this way of working, and the related workforce and funding issues. The paper highlights some of the major issues the RCN sees as imperative for future discussions.
The nursing role in integrated care models: Reflecting on the United State's experience (PDF 570.7 KB)
Publication code: 004601
Publication date: 13 June 2014
There is growing recognition that integrated care can improve the quality of care that individuals receive and make the best and most efficient use of limited resources.This briefing informs ongoing policy debate, facilitates international learning, and highlights the nursing contribution – a distinction less commonly made.
Publication code: 004622
Publication date: 9 May 2014
This annual report highlights key areas and achievements in the RCN’s work during the nine months to 31 December 2013. It details some of the innovative work members and staff have been engaged with and includes the Report of Council and the full financial accounts for the review period.
Caring for children and young people: Guidance for nurses working in the independent sector (PDF 232.3 KB)
Publication code: 004580
Publication date: 16 April 2014
In England, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 enabled commissioners to increase the range of providers they could offer patients in relation to some services. The NHS Commissioning Board has produced guidance for clinical commissioning groups (CCG) on the provision of services through tendering and ‘any qualified provider’ processes which enables commissioners to purchase some services from the NHS, independent sector and voluntary organisations. This may increase the number of children using independent sector health care. This updated publication sets out key points for organising children's service provision in independent sector hospitals/clinics. The various topics covered include: organising services (for example, the environment, facilities and equipment, and outpatient care), pain management, consent and nurse and medical staffing (for example, staff training and education).
Publication code: 004187
Publication date: 16 April 2014
The safe management of health care waste is the responsibility of every health care professional. All staff must understand how waste should be classified, segregated and stored prior to collection and treatment or disposal. This is driven by the need to reduce environmental impact and comply with waste regulations and other regulatory standards such as the Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance. This guidance uses practical examples to support health care workers to properly manage the waste produced as part of their role and it recognises the different requirements that arise as a result of the devolved UK health care systems. This publication is supported by Stryker.
Safeguarding children and young people-every nurse's responsibility. Guidance for nursing staff. (PDF 287.5 KB)
Publication code: 004542
Publication date: 10 April 2014
This updated guidance is aimed at all nurses and highlights the issues that help you to recognise the warning signs of abuse. As a nurse you are well placed to identify children and young people who may be at risk and act to safeguard their welfare. The publication outlines how to identify a vulnerable child, the signs of abuse that nurses should learn to recognise, your role and responsibilities as a nurse who has direct or indirect contact with children and your employer’s responsibilities in this area.
Learning from the past – setting out the future: developing learning disabilities nursing in the United Kingdom (PDF 608.1 KB)
Publication code: 003 871
Publication date: 26 January 2011
Updated edition 2014. The population of children, adults and older people with learning disabilities is increasing and there is a higher number of people living into adulthood with a range of complex needs. This is resulting in children, young people and adults presenting with patterns of complex learning disabilities unlike those experienced by existing services and healthcare services will experience higher demand from this group in the future. Learning disability nurses play a central role in the lives of people with learning disabilities, from developing and implementing care plans to providing advice, education and support to people throughout their care journey. This publication sets out the key issues and actions required, both now and in the future, to enable learning disability nursing to develop and progress in line with the increased demand on its services. It also details areas of priority for the RCN.
Publication code: 004598
Publication date: 7 March 2014
The Frontline First campaign has repeatedly raised concerns that nursing workforce cuts, combined with the failure to undertake long-term workforce planning, have left many wards and services dangerously understaffed. Based on freedom of information data obtained from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), this special report, More than just a number, confirms that senior nursing roles have borne the brunt of workforce cuts, leading to a dangerous loss of experience and skills that are essential to ensuring patient safety and driving up care standards.
Publication code: 004540
Publication date: 13 February 2014
This executive briefing has been produced to inform organisations as to the content and benefits of the RCN online learning resource, First Steps for health care assistants. This year has seen a huge interest in training and education of health care support workers (HCSWs) across the UK, and First Steps is a valuable tool that can help individuals and organisations meet their learning and development needs. It can be used as part of an organisation’s training package.
Publication code: 004524
Publication date: 27 January 2014
The Scottish National Party (SNP), the incumbent party of Government in Scotland, has declared that it will hold a referendum on Scottish independence on Thursday 18 September 2014. The referendum will resonate across all four countries in the UK and the debate up to (and beyond) the referendum will attract media interest right across the UK and will involve all political parties and much of civic society. . This document is intended to provide you – wherever you live and work – with guidance on engaging with the media. You are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with it before undertaking any media work on issues relating to the referendum on Scottish independence. You will also find a step-by-step guide on holding an independence referendum debate at the end of this guidance (pages 6–7).
Publication code: 004 509
Publication date: 17 January 2014
This updated leaflet has been produced in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners and provides guidance on how to make your practice more teenage friendly so as to encourage teenagers to seek advice on sexual health as well as other issues.