Soon after the College of Nursing was established in 1916 the organisation began to publish literature on nursing policy, education, research, legal and ethical guidance along with promotional and recruitment literature, workforce surveys, conference proceedings, annual reports and clinical practice guidelines.
Prior to the creation of NICE in 1999 (SIGN in 2011), the RCN also published clinical standards for use in a variety of nursing settings. Some key standards and guidelines that helped shape the nursing profession include:
• 'Acquired infection in the NHS and its prevention: a suggested code of safe practice for occupational health and NHS staff', (1978)
• 'Diabetes: clinical guidelines for practice nurses' (1989)
• 'Standards of care for cancer nursing' (1991)
As the RCN represents nurses and nursing working in the whole United Kingdom, the publications produced by the organisation can be country specific. For example:
• 'Rhagoriaeth mewn iechyd : agenda ar gyfr Cynulliad Cenedlaethol newydd Cymru / Excellence in health : an agenda for the new National Assembly for Wales' (1999)
• 'A sustainable future : the RCN vision for community nursing in Scotland' (2009)
• 'Action to safeguard standards of nursing care report of the Working Committee presented to the Northern Ireland Board of the Royal College of Nursing' (1981)
• 'Persistent challenges to providing quality care : an RCN report on the views and experiences of frontline nursing staff in care homes in England' (2012)
The Royal College of Nursing is an extensive producer of information resources for nurses, in its roles as Professional Association and Trade Union. Publications range from campaign and promotional material which includes, leaflets and flyers to reports on nurses pay, health and safety and terms and conditions. Some items of interest include:
• 'Hazards for pregnant nurses : an A-Z guide' (1995)
• 'Agenda for change : a guide to the new pay, terms and conditions in the NHS' (2005)
• 'Registered nurses : wear your badge with pride' (leaflet) (2001)
In addition to this collection of RCN publications, the RCN also has a commercial publishing arm known as RCNi who publish journals such as the Nursing Standard. Please note that this collection is separate from these commercial publications.
Available for reference, by appointment, in the RCN Library and Heritage Centre.