RCN Education Forum National Conference & Exhibition 2021

Stepping up: educating the nursing workforce in challenging times

20 Apr 2021 - 21 Apr

20 Cavendish Square , Marylebone , London, W1G 0RN

In a year where Covid-19 has presented the greatest global health crisis of our time, this conference will provide an opportunity for reflection and showcase how the nursing profession has prepared and responded in a pandemic.

Click here to submit your abstract

Through presentation, discussion and debate, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and challenges of working in a rapidly evolving situation, as well as exchange knowledge on the latest developments within the academic and practice setting.
Engagement with this conference will enable you to:

  • Exchange ideas and approaches for developing education that is inclusive and acknowledges and values workforce diversity
  • Contribute to the discourse on the future of education in challenging times
  • Discuss the challenge of being responsive and agile in the face of adversity
  • Identify and reflect upon innovative approaches to education delivery
  • Describe, cascade and apply strategies for delivering high quality workforce education at pace.

Be part of the nurse education community: join the discussion with your peers and help to influence the future of nursing education.

Join in the discussion: #RCNED21 @theRCN

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are continuing to follow government advice and all RCN events remain subject to change. As a Royal College we have a responsibility to play our part in containing the spread of the virus whilst ensuring the safety of our delegates. We sincerely hope to be able to see you in person on 20/21 April 2021 and will keep you updated should the situation change.

20 Cavendish Square

20 Cavendish Square is located behind John Lewis, Oxford Street.

Visitor car parking

Q-Park Oxford Street is an underground car park situated underneath Cavendish Square.  You can pre-book your parking by visiting the Q-Park website.


The nearest stations are Oxford Circus and Bond Street.


There are many buses routes that stop nearby, including the 10, 25, 55, 73, 98 and 390.


London has five major airports: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton and London Stansted.

  • London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports have dedicated express train services into central London.

  • London Heathrow and City airports are directly connected to the Tube network.

  • National Express, Easybus and Greenline coach transfers run 24 hours a day and start as low as £2 when booked in advance.

About London

For more information on London as a destination please visit www.visitlondon.com; the official city guide to London.  



Key diary dates

Abstract submissions will open week commencing 29 June 2020 and will close midnight on Sunday 11 October 2020.

Abstracts will be distributed to the scientific committee on Friday 16 October for review.

Submitters will be notified via the online abstract management system of the outcome of the review week commencing 16 November 2020.

Deadline for registering at the discounted presenter rate is Friday 29 January 2021.

We strongly recommend that you read the abstract criteria and conference terms and conditions before you submit your abstract.

All abstracts must be submitted online through the Abstract Management System (AMS) which can be found here.

Abstracts which focus on education, research, innovation or matters for debate are invited on the following themes:


  • Student experience and engagement
  • Practice education
  • Learning, Teaching & assessment approaches & technologies
  • Partnership working and collaboration
  • Leadership in nursing education 

Full descriptors for each the themes can be found in the criteria document and guidance on how to prepare a successful abstract - Top tips..

Types of conference presentation

Authors will be asked to identify their preferred mode of presentation from the list below:

Concurrent (25 minutes)

Concurrent papers are presented orally. Concurrent sessions are 25 minutes in duration. Each presenter is allocated a maximum of 20 minutes to speak followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

Symposia (60-90 minutes)

A symposium is an oral presentation of between three and five papers with a shared focus. The duration of a symposium is normally 60 or 90 minutes depending on the number of papers. Authors wishing to submit papers as a symposium must nominate a symposium leader to complete a SINGLE online submission detailing all of the papers to be considered together as part of the symposium.

Poster (one day)

Exhibited on one day of the conference, posters are visual displays of material. Poster displays reach a wide audience and are suited to the presentation of factual data, such as project design or findings. Posters should be visually stimulating in design and convey clear aims and outcomes. Posters offer presenters an excellent opportunity to interact with delegates.

ViPER (25 minutes)

A ViPER is an evaluation of Visual Presentation with Expert Review.  This method involves a short oral presentation of a poster with no more than 5 presentation slides, followed by expert commentary and facilitated group discussion and debate. ViPERs support audience interactivity and provide an increased opportunity for active engagement in discussion.  

 Click here to submit your abstract

The conference is open to all nurses, student nurses, healthcare assistants and allied health professionals working in the academic, clinical and professional setting in the UK and overseas. This includes those working in NHS, independent and voluntary sectors, universities and colleges.

By attending this conference you will have unrivalled opportunity to learn latest developments, share good practice and network with colleagues.

Benefits of attending:

  • Accrue over 17 hours of CPD to count towards your revalidation

  • Discover the latest developments and research in the field of nursing education.

  • Hear from colleagues on their projects. Reflect on their findings and explore how you can use this knowledge to improve your practice.

  • Hear from eminent keynote speakers on contemporary nursing issues.

  • Attend themed sessions, conveyed by expert facilitators, participate and contribute to the discussions and debate.

  • Use this opportunity to network with your peers, mentor and support colleagues and showcase the work of your employer

  • Use the opportunity to ask the RCN those questions you want answers to


Need a helping hand with securing time off or funding to attend? Please download these helpful hints and tips.

Here’s what some of our past attendees thought:

"I thought it was a full packed programme my head was reeling with such inspirational topics, facts new information, good working practices and patient care."


"Motivational, inspirational, future vision, a positive influence and uplift to my sometimes tired jaded worry of what is going to happen to our patients. Brings me down to my grass roots and secures and "roots " me back into my passion and love of nursing. Also reassures me of the multi-faceted work of the RCN in all areas that Nurses, AHCP are supported and developed continually in a fast demanding world. Keeping ahead of the times and guiding us into the future.


"The conference is not only enjoyable as you are sharing knowledge and skills with likeminded people who have the passion to take nursing and education forward, but it also gives the opportunity to open new doors and pathways to network and bring together excellent and innovative ideas. This ultimately enriches and drives the nursing profession."

Whether you are a first time or experienced presenter, if you are passionate about the future of nursing education and have a piece of innovative learning to share we want to hear from you. We welcome submissions from healthcare educators across the UK and the globe working in the academic, clinical and professional setting. This includes those working in NHS, independent and voluntary sectors, universities and colleges. We also encourage students and those wishing to pursue a career in nursing education to submit an abstract.

Benefits of presenting 

• A platform to showcase your work and your employer on a national level
• Have your research recognised by your peers and receive constructive review
• Demonstrate your initiative and commitment to the future of nurse education
• A learning opportunity to develop your communication and presenting skills
• An excellent opportunity for networking, expanding your knowledge and promoting your work within the UK

    Here’s what some of our past presenters thought:

    "Friendly conference, good support for first time speakers. Mix of academic and practice."

    "It offers a great opportunity to network, extend your own professional development- I presented a poster which has now provided me with an additional set of presentation skills."

    "Thought provoking and inspiring, good to discuss practice and develop ideas for positive changes."

    " A very informative event that gives nurses the opportunity to share celebrate innovative practice nationally."

    "A good chance to come together to talk through and consider solutions to national challenge."

      Students in partnership scheme

      To help pre-registration nursing student members gain experience of presenting professional nursing knowledge, the RCN is offering a discretionary funded place at this conference to eligible students who submit an abstract which is accepted for presentation. Students will be supported with the costs of their delegate fee, travel and accommodation of attending on the day they are presenting up to a maximum of £300.00. To be eligible you must be an RCN member and be a pre-registration nursing student undertaking a recognised nursing course in the UK at the time of completing your abstract submission.

      Best first-time presenter award

      A certificate will be awarded at the conference for the best first-time presenter, this will be judged by the RCN Education Forum Scientific Committee members.  A first-time presenter is considered someone who has no prior experience of presenting at any conference.

      Best poster prize

      A certificate will be awarded for the best poster on day one and day two of the conference, as voted for by conference delegates.



      Registration will open for conference presenters from 2 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.


      Please check back to the website in February 2021 when remaining delegates places will be released for general booking.


        RCN member   Non-RCN member 
      2 days   £250 (+ VAT)  £375 (+VAT)
      1 day  £225 (+VAT)  £291 (+VAT)

      Presenter rate (access all conference days)

      Available until Friday 29 January 2021

       £212.50 (+VAT)  £315 (+VAT)


      Prices shown are exclusive of VAT, which is charged at the prevailing rate of 20%. When making payment please remember to add 20% VAT. If you are being funded by your employer, RCN Events can provide an invoice for your attendance. Just complete a booking form and ask your finance team to send this along with a purchase order to education@rcn.org.uk

      We strongly recommend that you attend the full two days of the conference to maximise learning and networking time.

      Presenter rate

      The main presenter and one co-presenter are offered a rate equivalent to a 15% reduction on the two-day conference fee. For symposium submissions one presenter per paper is eligible for the presenter rate up to a maximum of five presenters. We regret that a presenter rate cannot be offered on the one-day conference fee.
      Deadline for booking the presenter rate – Friday 29 January 2021.

      The following discounts are available on the conference fees (exclusions and conditions apply*)

      Group bookings

      10% discount on each conference fee inclusive of VAT for three or more delegates booking at the same time.  The

      group discount is only applicable on the two-day conference place


       Accredited RCN Trade Union Representative

       25% discount inclusive of VAT available on the two-day conference place

      RCN Student Nurse Member (Pre- registration only)

       40% discount inclusive of VAT available on the two-day conference place

      RCN Health Care Assistant/Assistant Practitioner Member

       40% discount inclusive of VAT available on the two-day conference place

      RCN Associate Retired Member

       40% discount inclusive of VAT available on the two-day conference place


      Not an RCN member? Join today to qualify for preferential conference fees.
      *Exclusions and conditions

      - Discounts are not available on the presenter rate
      - Discounts are not applicable on the one-day conference place
      - Discounts cannot be combined. Only one discount can be used for each booking whether it is an individual or group booking
      - The student nurse 40% discount offer is strictly for RCN student members enrolled in a pre-registration nursing programme
      - Sharing of a multi-day conference passes between delegates is not permitted. Only delegates that have registered their details through the RCN's events registration system will be granted access

      Registration will open for conference presenters from 2 November 2020 until 29 January.
      Delegate places will be released for general booking in February 2021.
      Please contact the RCN Events Registration team to book your place on 02920546460
      Monday to Friday (9am-4.30pm)
      +44 (0)2920546460

      Event Organiser
      Andy Murphy
      +44 (0) 207 647 3960

      General enquiries
      For any other queries relating to this conference please contact:

      Tel +44 (0)2076473577
      Fax +44 (0)2076473411

      Page last updated - 13/10/2020