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RCN International

Our international work

We represent UK nursing in Europe and internationally.

The RCN works with UK, European and wider international alliances and stakeholders to influence health and nursing policy globally.

Current international issues and projects

The RCN and Brexit

Following the vote on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, the RCN is calling on the Government to secure the future of EU nurses as new figures reveal the extent to which the health service relies on them. More than 33,000 EU trained nurses are registered to work in the UK, which is more than the total number of nurses currently working in Wales. It comes as research reveals the scale of challenges facing the NHS nursing workforce, with one in three nurses due to retire in the next 10 years and a lack of homegrown staff to fill the gap.

The RCN believes the Government must take urgent action to develop a coherent and sustainable workforce strategy for the future that recognises the critical contribution of overseas nurses as well as the pressing need to educate, recruit and retain homegrown nursing staff.

Read more about the RCN’s response to Brexit in August’s edition of Bulletin

Read a guide for RCN members on Brexit and the implications for European Economic Area (EEA) workers, students and family members

RCN partnership with the Zambian Union of Nurses Organisations 

The goal of the RCN ZUNO project is to build ZUNO’s capacity to influence nursing policy and improve nursing practice in Zambia.

With the RCN’s support, ZUNO will be helping theatre teams at the University Teaching Hospital Lusaka to implement the WHO safe surgery checklist.

The Buurtzorg Nederland Community Care Model 

The Buurtzorg model has attracted significant international attention in recent years. Founded in the Netherlands in 2006, this unique community nursing programme has won acclaim for being both nurse-led and cost effective.

The RCN has developed a briefing which looks at the development and successes of the Buurtzorg model, while also identifying some of the challenges which would need to be addressed if the UK were to adopt a similar approach.

Read more about the Buurtzorg model

EFN Executive Committee

Janet Davies was elected to the European Federation of Nurses Associations Executive Committee. The election of the RCN Chief Executive means UK nursing will be represented at the most senior level in Europe.

Read more about the EFN Executive Committee

RCN International Nursing Network

The International Nursing Network brings together health care practitioners interested in the field of international health care. Members of this community include registered practitioners, health care assistants, students and volunteers.

This groups enables RCN members interested in international humanitarian health care and development work to share experiences and support each other with practical advice.

Read more about the International Nursing Network

Visit the International Nursing Network Facebook group

International alliances

Contact the RCN

For more information on international issues, please contact