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Nursing across independent health and social care  

We’re here to support all our members, no matter what sector or setting you’re employed in. 

A significant and growing number of our members work in independent health and social care (IHSC). This diverse group includes all nursing staff employed in settings outside the NHS. That could be care homes, nursing agencies, private hospitals or somewhere else entirely. It also includes members – such as general practice nurses – who may provide NHS services but not be employed on Agenda for Change contracts.

This page signposts you to some of our most popular resources. Many of these will be relevant to all members working in IHSC, while others are tailored to particular roles or workplaces. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch by emailing

Key IHSC resources

Many of these will be relevant to all members working in IHSC, while others are tailored to particular roles or workplaces.

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Pay, terms and conditions in IHSC

Find information about pay, terms and conditions, including resources for starting conversations with your employer and requesting a pay rise.
A Nurse studying at a desk

Funding opportunities for IHSC

Read our list of funding opportunities across the UK open to IHSC professionals.
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Our strategy for members in IHSC

Our strategy for supporting members in IHSC Read about our strategy for supporting members in IHSC and find out who’s leading this work in your country or region.
A nurse outside parliament in London, holding a placard for fair pay for nurses

Our fight for fair pay in IHSC employers

View a timeline of our recent campaigns for fair pay at a range of IHSC employers.

General nursing resources

Most of the resources on our website are relevant to all members – no matter what sector or setting you’re employed in. This includes many of our advice guides and subject guides, as well as the clinical information on RCN Learn.

Workplace-specific resources

We also have a range of resources tailored to specific roles and workplaces within IHSC. You can access these resources through the relevant forum or network: 

We're here for you

If you're an RCN member who needs help with any aspect of your employment, you can access online advice or contact us directly. We're here to help – wherever you work.


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21 blog posts
  • Surgical Stockings Carol Dale Carol Dale 23 Nov 2023

    The student, the nursing support worker and the mysterious poly bag

    Today is all about celebrating and recognising the contribution nursing support workers make across health and care services. I remember my first few weeks as a student nurse working in a medical ward.

  • Pam Penman Pam Penman 17 Nov 2023

    The benefits of a roundtable discussion - and a care home provider success story

    Why independent sector nursing staff should attend our roundtable discussions - and how one care home provider successfully negotiated funding for their health care support workers to study nursing with the Open University while continuing employment in their workplace.

  • Vicky Sandy-Davis Vicky Sandy-Davis 12 Oct 2023

    With age comes wisdom (apparently)

    Vicky Sandy-Davis, our Lead Nurse for Independent Health and Social Care in the West Midlands, discusses her career in learning disability nursing and how she came to work at the RCN.

  • Baby nurse Leanne Hume 800x400 Leanne Hume Leanne Hume 18 Sep 2023

    Pushing for a cultural shift

    I’ve always been an RCN member, but it’s only as a staff member that I’ve realised the true extent of what we do for our members.

  • Lisa Kieh Lisa Kieh 23 Aug 2023

    Raising the voice of independent health and social care staff in Wales

    Lisa Kieh, our Independent Sector and Community Adviser for Wales, discusses the challenges faced by members in independent health and social care and the work she’s been doing to support them.