RCN sources

  • RCN e-library
  • RCN Research Series and Study of Nursing Care Project
  • RCN Steinberg Collection of Nursing Doctoral Theses
  • RCN Archives
  • RCN Clinical Guidelines
  • Nursing Practice Issues
  • Principles of Nursing Practice

RCN e-library

The eRevolution has transformed RCN Library and Information Services. Whether you are at home, at work, or studying, you now have direct access to an exciting range of new and existing services. Use these state-of-the-art services online or in person, by telephone, email, post or fax. Dedicated professional staff are available to help you. Available free to RCN members including:

  • Over 1,000 full text nursing and related journals
  • Reference access to a growing collection of electronic books on topics of interest to nursing staff
  • Information databases including British Nursing Index, Maternity & Infant Care, ChildData and Agelnfo, as well as Medline and Cinahl
  • RCN Library Catalogue: details of books and videos held in RCN libraries, online renewals
  • Full RCN members can request a literature search

Frequently Asked Selected Topics (FASTs)

FASTs is a list of topics found to be popular with members of the RCN. The lists aim to provide a useful and fast way of finding recent information on a topic. The lists of references are not intended to be comprehensive but provide a useful introduction to a subject.


To search for e-books of particular relevance to nursing research, click here:


RCN Research Series and RCN Study of Nursing Care Project

"A portfolio of research monographs published from 1970-1994 are worthy of a (re)visit. These texts of scholarship on an individual basis represent the early work of many of the founding nurse researchers in the UK. Some are seminal pieces of work, others the products of masters or doctoral endeavour. Many should be compulsory reading for those aspiring to undertake research, embarking on a research career or wishing to explore the foundations of contemporary nursing scholarship. As a collection they present understandings into what seem to be the recurring issues that confound the profession and still today demand our attention." Dr Annie Topping.

Website: RCN Research Series
Website: RCN Study of Nursing Care Project

RCN Steinberg Collection of Nursing Doctoral Theses

The RCN Steinberg Collection is an unparalleled reference collection of over 1,000 nursing theses and dissertations, housed in the RCN UK library, London and RCN Archives. Set up in 1974, the collection contains a selection of influential nursing theses and dissertations from the early 1950's to the present day. You can search for theses on your subject through the online RCN Library Catalogue. Why not donate your nursing PhD, in print or electronic form, to become part of this prestigious collection. Select the thesis search option and enter subject keywords.

Contact: Resource Acquisitions Team
Tel: 0345 337 3368 (local rate number)
Email: acquisitions.services@rcn.org.uk
Website: Steinberg Collection of Nursing Research

RCN Archives

The RCN Archives are the most important collections dedicated to the history of the nursing profession in the UK. Everyone is welcome to use this unique resource. They answer enquiries relating to the development of nursing and other healthcare professions and about RCN history.

Contact: Royal College of Nursing Archives
Tel: 0131 662 6122 or 6123
Email: archives@rcn.org.uk
Website: RCN Archives

RCN Clinical Guidelines

The RCN no longer develops clinical guidelines but has been involved in the development of clinical guidelines in partnership with other stakeholders. These guidelines are listed below. The focus now is on supporting development of guidelines through agencies such as NICE, and supporting implementation through developing online learning and resources.

  • Falls
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pain in children
  • Perioperative fasting
  • Perioperative hypothermia
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Venous leg ulcers
  • Violence

Website: RCN Clinical Guidelines
Website: NICE consultation gateway

Nursing Practice Issues

Online resources have been developed around the following topics:

  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • eHealth
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Older people
  • Pain in children
  • Patient safety and human factors
  • Perioperative fasting
  • Social inclusion
  • Spirituality

Website: Nursing Practice Issues

Principles of Nursing Practice

The Principles have been produced jointly by nurses and patient groups and describe what everyone can expect from nursing practice in any setting. They provide a framework for quality improvement and for supporting the evaluation of care.

Website: Principles of Nursing Practice