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NRN Handbook

Providing guidance on the foundations of good practice, preceptorship, your employment and more.

The Newly Registered Nurse Handbook provides a whole host of guidance, including:

the foundations of good practice
how to make the most of your preceptorship
finding a balance for your health and wellbeing
advice on employment issues
everything you need to know about your RCN membership.

The handbook is now also available for members on RCN Starting Out, so you can access it on the go wherever and whenever you need it most.  


Download the NRN handbook

To download the NRN handbook as a non-member click below to register for it, or log in if you are a member.
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NRN Handbook preview

Dear Newly Registered Nurse (or soon to be!),

So you’ve done it – you’ve successfully completed your programme, achieving all of your professional and academic competencies, and joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register! You can now breathe knowing that you have got that registration you have been working hard for.

But wait. That feeling of euphoria isn’t lasting and, if you are anything like us, there is a feeling of mild panic! Don’t worry – we all feel like this. Losing the support of your university, access to resources and a peer group can feel daunting. Add to this the pressure of navigating new systems, processes and a new role.

We know you can handle it, but as added support, the RCN’s Newly Registered Nurse Handbook and network is here for you too. We provide a whole host of guidance, including how best to make the most of your preceptorship, social media peer support and your RCN membership. This guide isn’t designed to be read from start to finish in one sitting – just dip in and out as required.

You have joined a profession with history, integrity, professionalism, heart and compassion at its core; one that gives us opportunity and endless possibilities if we are brave enough to take the chances we are offered. As Michelle Obama said: “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

The nursing profession gives us the privilege of being with people during some of their hardest times. Wherever your nursing journey takes you, know that you will be remembered by many for how you made them feel and that individually we can be great, but together we can do something truly impactful.

Good luck in your career, we hope to meet many of you online and in person. Feel free to contact us, select the RCN Newly Registered Nurses Network on your MyRCN, and engage with us through social media. You can connect with the RCN Newly Registered Nurse Network on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Yours in Nursing,
RCN Newly Registered Nurse Network

  • Preface - COVID-19
  • Members make it happen
  • Checklist 

Chapter 1. The foundations of good practice 

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Registration and revalidation
  • Standards and guidance
  • Raising concerns
  • Duty of candour
  • Patient safety and human factors
  • Leadership and followership
  • Continuing professional development (CPD)

Chapter 2. Preceptorship 

  • Overview of preceptorship 
  • Appraisal 
  • Glossary of terms

Chapter 3. Finding a balance 

  • Taking care of yourself 
  • Self-care and self-compassion 
  • What is stress? 
  • Recognising stress 
  • Top tips 
  • When things get tough 
  • Taking action 

Chapter 4. Regulatory, employment and legal issues 

  • The NMC register 
  • Contracts
  • Payslips
  • Agency and bank work
  • RCN support in the workplace
  • Bullying
  • Finances after graduating
  • RCN legal support 

Chapter 5. Get involved 

  • RCN forums
  • RCN branches 
  • RCN representatives
  • RCN Congress
  • RCN campaigns
  •  Equality and inclusion
  •  RCN conferences, courses, events and magazines 


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Join online or call our membership team on 0345 772 6100.
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