Use your democratic right to choose who represents you

 Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE 15 Nov 2019

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The General Election on 12 December is your opportunity to vote for your next Member of Parliament (MP). Across the UK, people will be voting for the candidate they want to represent them for the next five years. Our collective votes will also decide the political make-up of the next UK Government. 

With only weeks to go until polling day, we’ve launched our campaign #nursingcounts to make sure that our voices are listened to, and that nursing is at the top of the political agenda.

This couldn’t be more important. The decisions made by parliament and the UK government affect all our lives. Their policies impact the health and care services we work in; from the number of staff there are to provide safe and effective care, to the numbers of beds available to care for patients in hospitals.

Our manifesto asks the next UK government to:

  • address the nursing workforce shortage 
  • invest in health and care services 
  • invest in nursing education and professional development 
  • build an immigration system that supports nursing 
  • improve working conditions and pay

Over the coming weeks, there’ll be opportunities to speak to prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) and party members who are competing for your vote. You can find out who your candidates are here

 Our ‘Influencing your PPC’ leaflet gives you all the top tips you can use to speak to candidates. It will help you get ready to test them on our priorities and to ask them about your concerns. 

You can:

  • email your PPCs asking them to become a Nursing Champion by taking our online action here
  • ask our top 5 questions to PPCs or political campaigners who knock on your door
  • arrange meetings with your PPC to encourage them to support nursing and patient care and to hear their views in more detail 
  • attend a local hustings to raise your concerns with your PPCs and ask them how they will stand up for nursing if elected
  • ask your PPCs to share their support for nursing and our manifesto on social media.

We’re asking every candidate running for election to sign our pledge to be a Nursing Champion. This means that if they become an MP, they are committing to speaking up for nursing and patient care and we have built a body of support in the next UK government.

Nursing staff have the ability to swing an election so every vote matters. On average there are 650 RCN members in each constituency. At the UK General Election in 2017, 37 seats had a majority less than 660 votes. Your vote can make a tangible difference to the outcome of the election and the nursing voice moving forward. 

Join us and let’s hear the nursing voice over and above the political noise. Use your democratic right to choose who represents you and our great profession. 



Professor Anne Marie Rafferty

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE

RCN President


Anne Marie is Professor of Nursing Policy at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London. 
Professor Rafferty has been involved in the RCN since she was a student in 1977. She has previously acted as an RCN representative on the Health Quality Improvement Partnership and currently acts as a member of the Safe Staffing Expert Reference Group. She was named one of the 70 most influential nurses in 70 years of the NHS.

Page last updated - 15/11/2019