RCN house style for print and web



depends slightly on context and level of formality required. In most member communications, full name at first mention – for example, Sandra James – then first name only. May be more appropriate to use Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms etc at second mention

national anthem

lower case

National Health Service

NHS or health service is usually sufficient



but Royal Navy




one word

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle usually sufficient, unless referring to Newcastle under Lyme

newly registered nurse

new year

but New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, New Year Honours

newspaper titles

“the” takes italics if in the title – The Times, The Guardian – but the Daily Mail

next of kin

no hyphens


National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Spell out at first mention, thereafter NICE rather than Nice to avoid confusion


Nursing and Midwifery Council. Spell out at first mention


From The Guardian style guide: “It is a (very persistent) myth that ‘none’ has to take a singular verb: plural is acceptable and often sounds more natural, eg ‘none of the current squad are good enough to play in the Premiership’, ‘none of the issues have been resolved.”

no one

no hyphen


or north-east. With hyphen. The north-west of England. Except with RCN regions where the area is also the name: North West region; South East region

Northern Ireland Assembly

capped up, but the assembly



one word


spell out numbers up to and including nine, then use numerals – but use numerals next to a symbol (5kg, £2 million)

use a comma in numbers containing four figures or more (3,260)

if you cannot avoid starting a sentence with a number, spell it out: “Forty-four people applied for the job”

write “from 22 to 44” rather than “22-44”


only use when referring specifically to registered nurses. Otherwise use “nursing” or “nursing staff”

nurse consultant

rather than consultant nurses

nursing students

rather than student nurses. Note that the RCN’s student membership also includes midwifery students

NVQ level 3

no need to spell out this abbreviation of National Vocational Qualification. Note lower case and digit for level 3