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RCN International

Our international work

We represent UK nursing globally and support international colleagues.

The RCN works with international alliances and stakeholders in the UK, Europe and beyond to influence health and nursing policy globally.

We focus on supporting our international workforce by seeking to influence:

  • an inclusive immigration system
  • a fair testing and registration process
  • sustainable and ethical recruitment into the UK

We also work with partners to influence both UK and global health policy that recognises and promotes the rights, expertise and leadership of nurses. In doing so, we can achieve better global health outcomes for all.

Illegal Migration Act

The Illegal Migration Act represents a backwards step that undermines fundamental human rights enshrined in international law. We opposed the Bill as it progressed through Parliament and worked alongside key partners in the health sector to raise the alarm about its consequences for the health and wellbeing of those seeking safety in the UK.
Westminster houses of parliament

Code of Practice for International Recruitment

We successfully campaigned for changes to the UK Code of Practice for International Recruitment. To ensure better recruitment practices, the Code now includes new principles on the use of repayment clauses. We continue to press the Government to do more to tackle unethical recruitment from countries facing pressing workforce challenges.
Group of nursing staff looking into a laptop

Our commitment to improving nursing globally 

Find out more about our work to influence global health policy and the international alliances we are a member of. 

International workforce

The RCN supports internationally trained nurses in the UK and calls on UK governments to ensure that international recruitment is conducted ethically.

Nursing leadership

Nurses across the world have a critical role in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and other population health goals. The RCN has called for the UK to invest in health systems globally, and implement the recommendations of the WHO’s Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery.

Sustainable development goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals for all countries to work towards in global partnership. Included within the SDGs is the aim to improve health and education, reducing inequality and tackling climate change. Nurses have a critical role in achieving all of the SDGs.

International alliances

International alliances bring together nursing organisations from across the world to work together on issues impacting the profession. The RCN is a member of a number of international alliances including:

A group of nursing staff sitting in a room

International nursing members

Information, guidance and advice for international members, working in the UK and overseas.

A nurse writing on a clipboard

Immigration advice service

If you're an RCN member and are already in the UK, you can get free, confidential support and assistance on immigration issues.