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RCN Awards

RCN Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship

Recognising innovative individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to advancing the science and practice of nursing and the improvement of health and patient care

About the awards

The RCN elects a small number of new Fellows and Honorary Fellows each year.

The RCN Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship recognise practitioners, researchers, educationalists and leaders who share the RCN's commitment to advancing the art and science of nursing and the improvement of health care.

Nominees are put forward by peers to acknowledge their experience, accomplishments and dedication to the nursing profession.

Fellows and Honorary Fellows are entitled to use the letters FRCN after their name.

The RCN often calls on the expertise and experience of Fellows to help with developing our professional policy positions, practice standards and services.

For more information about the RCN Fellowship, please read this guidance note.

Fellowship Leaflet

For more information on the role and responsibilities of a Fellow, please read the RCN Fellowship Leaflet.

RCN Fellowship

RCN Fellowships are awarded to RCN members who are registered nurses in the UK.

RCN Honorary Fellowship

RCN Honorary Fellowships are awarded to people who are not nurses but have had a significant impact on nursing or health care. They can also be awarded to nurses registered outside the UK.

How to nominate

RCN members can submit nominations at any point during the year using this nomination form.

You can only nominate or support one candidate per year.

Country or regional boards, branches and forums can submit group nominations.

RCN staff and RCN Council members cannot submit nominations for this award.

Nominees for the RCN Fellowship must be on the NMC register and have been a member of the RCN for at least five years.

RCN staff and current members of RCN Council are not eligible to be nominated.

Support for your nomination

You will need three other people to support your nomination. They do not have to be RCN members but must not be RCN staff or RCN Council members.

Each supporting statement should show how the nominee has made an exceptional contribution to nursing or health care.

The recommendations should come from a range of backgrounds to show the reach of the nominee’s work.

We advise that you do not tell the nominee about the nomination, so they will not be disappointed if it is unsuccessful.

What to submit

The nominator and supporters should write testimonials about the nominee and submit these with the form.

If you require assistance writing Fellowship nominations, we encourage you to email the Fellows Co-ordinating Committee at for support and advice. You can also download How to write a successful supporting statement for more information.

You also need to submit contact details and the nominee’s CV. We understand that it is hard to find out details about another person – especially while keeping it a secret – so just put as much information as you can. We can, for example, find the person’s RCN membership number for you.

How the decision gets made

Eligible nominations will be considered by the Awards Committee and evaluated against the following six criteria:

  1. Innovation/unique contribution - what has the nominee contributed that is new in terms of nursing knowledge or practice?
  2. Originality - to what extent is the nominee's work totally original in context or application?
  3. Evaluation - has the nominee's work been rigorously tested, for example through peer review?
  4. Dissemination - has the nominee's work been shared with the rest of the profession or made an impact outside of nursing?
  5. Transferability - to what extent has the nominee's work been incorporated more widely into nursing or used as a model in other fields of nursing?
  6. Recognition - to what extent is the nominee and their work recognised by others working in the same field?

For more information about the RCN Fellowship, including the full criteria, please read this guidance note.

When to submit

RCN members can submit nominations at any point during the year using this nomination form. Nominations submitted will be considered for the 2023 Awards.

The Awards Committee

The Awards Committee is made up of the President, Deputy President, Chair and Vice Chair of RCN Council, the Chief Executive & General Secretary, and the Convenor of RCN Fellows.

RCN Fellows and Honorary Fellows 2022

RCN Fellows and Honorary Fellows 2021

RCN Fellows and Honorary Fellows 2020

Ruth Oshikanlu FRCN

It was lovely to be nominated. There are so many unsung heroes. I don't know why we, as nurses, don't celebrate what we do. We're doing amazing things.

Ruth Oshikanlu MBE FRCN Awarded the RCN Fellowship in 2017

Tara Bartley FRCN