Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

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Our work

How we represent forum members

  • Covering a wide range of health issues which impact particularly on women from adolescence to old age, including developing guidance and competence for nursing staff.
  • Carrying out research to advance and enhance practice.
  • Being as inclusive as possible and working collaboratively with other organisations to develop national guidance and policy.
  • Organising conferences to spread good practice.
  • Recognising the diversity of needs and expectations associated with delivering a high quality, humanistic approach to health so as to empower women into accessing the best available health care.
  • Representing the RCN's pool of professional expertise and knowledge.

Read our Women's Health Forum Charter 2023


Professional Lead: Carmel Bagness - Follow the forum on Twitter @RCNWomensHealth

Our strategy

  • Support professional learning and development of women’s health nursing and midwifery.
  • Provide women’s health nursing expertise and input to RCN.
  • Shape national policy.
  • Support RCN activities through income generation.
  • Ensure dissemination of relevant information to women’s health community.

What we are currently working on

  • We are embarking on a joint forum project with, Mental Health, Midwifery and Justice and Forensics on raising awareness around Women’s Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care.
  • June 2023 Seminar on National Women's Health Strategies – what it means for practice. 
  • Gynaecology Advanced Nurse Practice standards/ Guidance
  • Review RCN termination of pregnancy Guidelines 
  • Menopause Position paper and Seminar
  • Women’s Health Conference - planning in progress for 6 December 2023.
Recent activity, including publications

Read the Women's Health Forum Member Representation - Biannual Report - Sept 23

Recent project completion and evaluation reports

For a full list of publications, see the women's health library subject guide.

Forum activity in 2021

  • Making Sense of Women’s Health (2021). This publication is designed for the non-specialist nurse. It highlights conditions that women can experience, the likely outcomes and how to access appropriate resources or treatment..
  • What are PMS and PMDD? (2021)  This resource has been designed to raise awareness of both premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), to support patient assessment and care, and to signpost nursing staff to further helpful resources. 
  • RCN Position Statement on Registered Nursing Associates (RNAs) Training in Cervical Screening). The RCN recognises that RNAs carry out cervical screening, in line with national standards. Service and education providers should be confident that appropriate and relevant training and supervision is in place and aware that extra training may be required.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Early Pregnancy Care (2021).  This updated document outlines the key skills and knowledge required to develop the role of a specialist nurse/midwife in early pregnancy care. See also: Clinical Nurse Specialist Standards in Early Pregnancy Care Impact Assessment Report.
  • RCN Bladder and Bowel Care in Childbirth. Bladder and bowel care during childbirth is a critical part of maternity care, as the consequences can have short and long-term consequences for the woman and her family. This guidance provides information about bladder and bowel care throughout pregnancy, labour and into the postnatal period.
  • Managing the Disposal of Pregnancy Remains. This updated publication is intended to provide clear guidance for all health care professionals to have in place sound systems and processes to ensure the safe and appropriate disposal of pregnancy remains, where the pregnancy has ended before the 24th week of gestation. This includes following an ectopic pregnancy, early intrauterine fetal death, miscarriage, or a medically or surgically induced termination of pregnancy.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Endometriosis. This updated booklet defines the role of the endometriosis clinical nurse specialist (CNS) to enhance career opportunities, inform and enhance local practice, and establish a base line standard across the UK. There is also an Endometriosis factsheet available.


  • Menstrual Health Coalition 
  • RCOG Abortion Taskforce 
  • NHSE/I Menopause Strategy 
  • FGM National Forum
  • All Wales Coalition – developing a  Women’s Health Strategy for Wales.

Leading, collaborating, influencing

The RCN and its forums are invited to participate in many cross working and multidisciplinary workstreams. Below are a selection of some of the activities that members of the Women's Health Forum are involved in on your behalf.

Clinical leadership in gynaecology

Clinical leadership in gynaecology is a key role in supporting Woman’s Health care in acute settings. This role is diverse, and there is a new national Matrons Network, which can help in developing this role. Find out how to access support and contact with others in this role.

Women's Health clinical resources

If you would like to learn more about key areas in Women’s Health, you will find further information via RCN Learn on:

Women's health cards

An easy reference tool for nurses working in gynaecology, sexual and reproductive health.

Supported by the Association of Early Pregnancy Units, the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, the Wear White Again Hologic campaign and Verity The Polycystic Ovaries Self Help Group.

See: Women's Health Pocket Guide 2020


The RCN is the voice of nursing, and is invited to contribute to many consultations.

Get involved

Find out more about how to get involved in developing NICE and SIGN guidance

Page last updated - 05/02/2024