Becoming an RCN rep gives you the chance to make a real difference to your patients, the working lives of yourself and your colleagues - and even the future of nursing. Find out more from reps themselves by reading The Value of RCN Reps: in our own words. This shows the many ways in which they help members and organisations, and how being a rep has changed their lives for the better.
If you are an RCN member and a registered nurse or a health care assistant in employment, you can apply to become an RCN steward, safety representative or learning representative. Being a rep is rewarding. You will get support from a close community of reps and RCN staff. Ongoing learning and development will help you become active as a rep and you will learn new skills which can enhance your nursing role. Students are not eligible to become reps, however, there are other ways you can get involved as a student member.
As an RCN representative, you are:
Start by reading Representatives recruitment leaflet - Proud to make a difference. Complete the short form at the back and submit it to your local RCN office or alternatively register your interest online.
Your local office will then contact you to arrange an informal chat to discuss the role. If you decide you'd like to proceed with your application, you'll receive an application form. To apply, you need to be nominated by two RCN members. These are people who believe you would make a good rep, and may be colleagues from your branch or work colleagues.
After you have completed the application form, you should send it to your branch secretary. The application form will only be accepted if you have sent in an expression of interest form and spoken to your regional office.
Once your application has been received there will be a workplace election, after which the branch will ratify your nomination as an elected trade union representative. The regional or national office will inform your employer that you are an accredited RCN representative.
As a newly recruited representative, you'll start by attending a foundation module. On successful completion you will move on to your chosen development module which prepares you for your role as RCN learning rep, safety rep or steward.
Once you’ve completed your foundation and development modules you will be eligible to attend continuing learning and development workshops and events for reps to maintain and develop your skills. We have created a guide to becoming an active rep which details all you need to know about the learning and development programme - Becoming an active representative.