How Congress works

Welcome to Congress, the largest nursing event of the year. There's a lot to choose from at Congress, so we've put this guide together to help you plan your time and get the most out of it.

You can participate in the debates in the Main Hall, and we also have a selection of events running alongside this for you to attend, including learning opportunities and health and wellbeing sessions to help you relax.

The exhibition runs from Sunday evening to Wednesday afternoon, so do have a look to see what opportunities the exhibitors have on offer for you. 

We hope you leave Congress feeling inspired and reinvigorated. 

RCN Congress is the most important event of its type in the nursing calendar. It is where nursing staff meet to learn, develop and share nursing practice and to influence nursing and health care policy.

How much it costs to attend

Congress is free to attend, however you will need to consider the costs for your travel and accommodation. 

Funding to attend Congress

There are two ways that RCN members can receive funding to attend Congress:

  • As a voting member. Funds are allocated to each branch and forum in proportion to the size of their membership, allowing them to send members to vote on their behalf in debates. Applications to attend Congress 2020 as a voting members are now open. Find out more here.
  • Via your RCN country or regional board. Information about this funding will be released via email, from their website pages or look at the Congress news section.

Assistance whenever you need it 

Members of the agenda committee, who lead Congress on the members’ behalf, and RCN Council (our governing body which has overall responsibility for Congress) are at Congress all week and would be delighted to meet and guide you. They are seated at the front of the auditorium during debates. You will be able to recognise the members of the agenda committee by their polo shirts.

You’ll never be far away from an RCN member of staff – they are there primarily to help you make the most of your time at Congress. Help is always available at the registration desk, the Information Hub and on the RCN Stand in the Exhibition Hall.

We have produced a video to help you understand what to expect during debates, as well as a chance to see what it feels like to speak at the podium.

When you arrive at Congress, you’ll get a comprehensive Congress Guide, which contains all the finer details of Congress including background information on the debates, locations, maps and timings. You will also receive a personalised information booklet through the post in the weeks leading up to the event.


We are pleased to provide you with a free accommodation booking service through Liverpool Convention Bureau. This is a flexible service which allows you to book accommodation to suit your needs and budget. Special rates have been negotiated at a number of hotels close to the conference venue.

As rooms and rates are guaranteed until 29th May 2019 it is advisable to book accommodation early. After this date it may not be possible to book rooms at these rates for these hotels. 

If you wish to make a group booking, or you are experiencing any difficulties in completing your booking online, please contact the Liverpool Convention Bureau team at or on 00 44 (0) 151 233 5933.

These exclusive rates are only available when booked via Liverpool Convention Bureau.The website will close 1 week before the event and the release date for hotels is 6 weeks before (26th April 2020). 


Q Parks is offering 10% off parking across 6 different locations in the city centre during RCN Congress.  The discount code is: MEETLIV10, Find out more at the Q park website.

Crèche facilities

A free crèche service is available to members throughout Congress which will be operated by Tinies. This is based at Jurys Inn, 31 Keel Wharf, Liverpool, L3 4FN, On arrival please make your way to Suite 1 which will be clearly signposted.

Please note this must be booked in advance and one form should be submitted per child. To book, contact the RCN Registrations Team at Advanced booking is essential and bookings will close on Wednesday 6 May.Please not that any booking received after this date are not guaranteed.

Opening times

Sunday 7 June - 2.00- 18.00     

Monday 8 June - 08.00- 18.00     

Tuesday 9 June - 08.00- 18.00     

Wednesday 10 June - 08.00- 18.00     

Thursday 11 June - 08.00- 18.00     

An evening babysitting service can be booked from 7.30 until 11. Please note this is a not a free service but MUST be pre-booked prior to Congress. A fee is chargeable if the service is cancelled on the day.

Filming and recording

RCN Congress and Exhibition is recorded and broadcast in a number of ways.

The recording may be webcast, put on a blog, or otherwise disseminated by others.

By attending Congress, you will be part of the filming. If you do not wish to have your comments recorded or broadcast, please make your points privately before the session/event – please contact the Agenda Committee or event host for help if required.

The RCN reserves the right to reproduce any of these recordings in print and multi-media materials of the RCN’s choosing in the future. 

Photographers will also be present at Congress. Photos taken may be used as part of the communications for the RCN in a number of media, including print and web. These photos will be added to the photographic library of the RCN. The RCN commits to using all pictures and video appropriately and sensitively.

If you do not wish your photo to be taken or used in this way, please inform the photographer immediately. 

Each year, Congress debates around 25 subjects, all of which have been submitted by members, covering clinical, staffing, financial, social and political areas. These issues are often reported in the media direct from Congress, and they lead to wide-ranging work carried out by the RCN, often lasting for many years.

Learn more about the Congress agenda here.

Fringe events are a great opportunity for personal and professional development and can count towards NMC revalidation requirements.

All delegates can attend any of the learning events (fringe) taking place at Congress. In addition to these, we also provide health and wellbeing events, and social and networking events.

Learn more about the fringe events here.

The exhibition at Congress is the largest, most comprehensive exhibition of its type where you’ll be able to meet employers, universities, recruitment agencies and health care providers and see many of the latest innovations relating to your workplace.

This year we have almost 100 organisations for you to visit - from training companies and health care providers to publishers and recruitment agencies - you are sure to find something of interest.

 The RCN's commercial activity

The RCN welcomes sponsorship from the health care industry to deliver educational initiatives and events for the nursing profession. Financial support is accepted where there is clear alignment in objectives and strong grounds that the collaboration will add value to the RCN's educational offer. 

The RCN works to ensure that all commercial activity is ethical, mutually beneficial and complies with the Bribery Act and relevant code of practice, such as the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries and Association of British Healthcare Industries. Sponsorship or exhibition-led activity does not imply endorsement by the RCN of any products and services displayed by the sponsors or exhibitors at an RCN event.

Book your Congress 2020 place

Booking is now open for Congress 2020.

Book your place

Page last updated - 24/02/2020