When thinking about a potential agenda item topic, you should aim for it to be all, or at least some, of the following...
A useful tool is PEST analysis. Think about your item with:
If your topic is too narrow it will not engage enough delegates. The more people who have an interest the more valuable the debate will be.
New topics are well placed to stimulate debate and existing issues can develop and throw up new challenges.
Both nursing topics and workplace issues can provide a rich source of content.
There are certain issues where people are keen to hear the nursing voice. The public has an interest in what we have to say and are prepared to take notice of our views and opinions.
Be realistic about what you want to debate. It's more valuable to debate something where our resulting actions can make a difference. One nurse for every patient may be your dream, but safe staffing on the ward is a more realistic goal. It's up to you to check action hasn't already taken place.
National uniforms for everyone! While nursing staff in England's ears might prick with interest, members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be quick to point out that they already have national uniforms. But that's not to say a uniform debate is off the table. Members from the three countries could contribute to a debate by sharing their experiences.
Double check that your topic hasn't already debated recently.
Does it fit in with the RCN’s overall goals or priorities? Have a look through the RCN website and see if anything there sparks off an idea.
Think about how the media will receive your item, or whether it is likely to generate interest on social media:
It is important to get the right wording for your item – make sure you are clear and concise.
Resolutions ask Congress to decide something and often includes a call for action. They use words such as ‘ask’, ‘decide’, ‘calls on’ or ‘shows support’. For example:
Matters for discussion are requests for a discussion about an issue. Wording uses terms such as ‘discusses’, ‘reflects on’ or ‘considers. For example:
By competent we mean have you answered all the questions on the form correctly and made sure that you have supplied the relevant information. Unfortunately many items are rejected by the Agenda Committee because they are not competent – examples of why items are rejected include:
The deadline for submitting a Congress Item is 11 January 2021.
Page last updated - 05/10/2020