Why should nursing students join the RCN?
As a nursing or midwifery student you can join the RCN - the largest professional union for nursing in the UK, with more than 400,000 members both in the NHS and the private sector.
For details of the eligibility criteria for this category of membership view the student membership page.
Your RCN membership will provide:
- Your membership includes indemnity protection of up to £3 million against claims of clinical negligence if you are at work or on a placement (conditions apply). As a student you receive the same indemnity cover as you will when you become a fully qualified nurse member.
- The RCN has the largest in house legal team of any union in the UK so in appropriate circumstances, as a member you are entitled to advice and representation by one of our experienced lawyers on a matter of employment law that occurs in the course of employment or placement. Without RCN membership you could be forced to pay from £120 to more than £300 per hour for a lawyer. In the financial year 2010/2011 in England and Wales we recovered over £7.3 million of compensation for our members in employment litigation, criminal and personal injury claims.
Learning and development
- The RCN has one of the largest specialist nursing libraries in Europe with access to over 64,000 books, key nursing databases, 700 e-journals and 600 e-books. The e-library can save you money. For example, on Amazon the second edition of Skills for nursing and healthcare students is £20. Through the RCN elibrary you can access it free. Much of the service is available online so we are ‘open’ when your campus library may not be. Think how handy that is going to be the night before an assignment is due in.
- As an RCN member you can use the Learning Zone to create an online evidence-based portfolio and develop your personal and clinical skills through bite sized chunks of learning. The Learning Zone includes tools and exercises that you can do on your own and on areas that maybe you don’t want to admit you need some extra help with.
Advice and support
- RCN student information officers are found in every university. They will be a key point of contact for any university-related problems you have, as well as a source of information and guidance on how the RCN can make a student nurses’ life easier. And when you go on placement, we have over 4,000 workplace representatives who can ensure health and safety requirements are complied with and your terms and conditions are the best they can be. These representatives are fully trained and work in the nursing profession like you so they fully understand your needs and issues.
- RCN Direct is our information, advice and support service. We have fully trained advisers available over the telephone from 8.30am to 8.30pm, 365 days a year, and online whenever you need it.
- The RCN Careers Service provides advice on writing CVs and application forms, interview techniques and career planning – great for when you start looking for that first job. A careers coaching session can cost in excess of £100, but as a member you are entitled to free careers advice sessions, delivered by advisers with a wealth of experience of nursing and health care career pathways.
- RCN Immigration Services are authorised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. We offer free consultations to members. If you were not a member, basic immigration advice with no representation could cost a minimum of £100.
- Our welfare service offers practical financial advice.
- Joining one of the RCN’s specialist forums is a great way to keep up to date with your specialism. Plus there are loads of opportunities to start networking with other health care professionals who can provide advice and guidance on all areas of nursing and your nursing career.
- Every fortnight you will receive RCN Bulletin magazine* which is packed with news and nursing jobs.
A campaigning voice
- We are committed to campaigning and lobbying to bring about real improvements in the lives of nurses and health care assistants - improving studying, working conditions, and training opportunities. For example, our Frontline First campaign has highlighted local cuts to health budgets and is now seen as the authority on this issue as it continues to receive widespread national media coverage.
- We work alongside other unions when negotiating with decision makers to ensure that your pay and conditions are the best they can possibly be.
Finances are tough for students, but through RCNXtra members are saving money on all sorts of things – insurance, utilities, high street stores, supermarkets, dining out, leisure attractions, DVDs, holidays and much, much more.
Can you afford not to join the RCN? Join today.
* Members based overseas can only access the RCN Bulletin online.