RCN International Nursing Research Conference 2021

The value of nursing research in a time of global crisis.

07 Sep 2021 - 09 Sep

Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, 2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market, Bristol, BS1 3AD

The value of nursing research in a time of global crisis.

Call for abstracts are now open for the 2021 RCN International Nursing Research Conference.

The over-arching theme of this year's conference is, 'The value of nursing research in a time of global crisis'.

Conference themes may include, but are not limited to:

• clinical effectiveness and nursing research
• methods that may enhance impact
• evaluating change
• patient experience and the role of research
• health and social care policy research
• the impact of research on nurse-sensitive outcomes.

Submit your abstract.

The conference is open to anyone interested in nursing and research. It will be of interest to nurses, and colleagues in related disciplines, involved in the development and use of knowledge that impacts on nursing practice or the context in which nurses’ practice.



The RCN is committed to providing a high-quality conference that showcases excellence in nursing research and practice as well as a forum for reflection, discussion and debate on the challenges facing the nursing profession. We are continuing to monitor government advice on the current COVID-19 pandemic and working behind the scenes to bring you an engaging and interactive virtual conference should an in-person event not be possible


Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre
2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market



Electric car charging stations: 4, For a fee
Off-site parking, fee: 3.50 GBP hourly, 17 GBP daily
The NCP car park is adjacent to the hotel - the per night fee of GBP 17 applies to hotel residents only

​This hotel has a smoke free policy


Submit your abstract


Key diary dates

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Call for abstracts open

Friday 5 March 2021, Midnight

Call for abstracts close

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Abstracts distributed to International Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) for review

Thursday 1 April 2021

Submitters will be notified via the online abstract management system of the outcome of the review

Friday 28 May 2021

Deadline for registering at the discounted presenter rate


Please note,

1. There will be no call for late breaking research for the 2021 conference – the 5 March 2021 is the final deadline for submissions.

2. The discounted presenter rate will apply to the lead presenter and one co-presenter only for Concurrent, Poster and ViPERs and 1 presenter per paper to a maximum of five for Symposium.


View the criteria For abstract selection.  

We strongly recommend that you invite a colleague to peer review your abstract against these criteria before your submit your abstract. 
All abstracts must be submitted online through the Abstract Management System (AMS) which can be found here. 
Once you have submitted your abstract, you will receive an email to confirm receipt. If you do not receive this confirmation within 12 hours of submission please email research@rcn.org.uk. 

Types of conference presentation

1. Concurrent paper 

A concurrent paper is presented orally. The presenter is allocated a maximum of 20 minutes to present their paper followed by 5 minutes for discussion.

2. Symposium 

A symposium is a presentation of between three and five papers with a shared focus. Depending on the number of papers, the duration of a symposium is 60 to 90 minutes and each presenter is allocated a maximum of 20 minutes to present their paper followed by 5 minutes for discussion. 

3. Poster presentation 

Posters are visual displays of material and are particularly suited to the presentation of factual data such as project design or findings. 

A Poster is exhibited for one full day and a poster presenter participates in a facilitated, interactive poster tour. 
Poster submissions should be text only and not include graphs or diagrams. 

4. Visual Presentation with Expert Review (ViPER) 

A ViPer involves the both an oral and a poster presentation. The presenter is allocated a maximum of 10 minutes to present their poster. An expert in the field responds (max. 5 minutes) and then facilitates a discussion (up to 10 minutes).

Guidance documents




The role of the International Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) is to review the abstracts that are received.  If you have been a member of the ISAP in any of the previous 3 years, you will automatically be invited to be a member again. 
If you have not been an ISAP member before, or within the past three years, and would like to become one, please review the criteria below, and email your expression of interest to research@rcn.org.uk by 5 March 2021.


The conference has a Scientific Committee, which consists of 8 people, who are responsible for managing the process of abstract selection and preparing the professional content of the conference programme. However, with over 350 abstracts usually submitted for consideration each year, it is important to have as many reviewers with a wide range of expertise to consider these abstracts.
Being a member of the International Scientific Advisory Panel does not preclude you from submitting an abstract (you will not be asked to review your own abstract).

Roles and responsibilities  

The Scientific Committee look to you, the International Scientific Advisory Panel, for expert advice on the suitability of an abstract for inclusion in the conference. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least 3 different reviewers, and the Scientific Committee will usually go along with the consensus view.  The main aim of peer review is to improve the standards of the scientific content of the conference programme. Be honest and courteous. Reviewers sometimes disagree. In the case of abstracts where reviewers have disagreed, the Scientific Committee will weigh carefully all of the reviewers' comments and make a final decision. Reviewers are invited to judge abstracts against predetermined criteria. There is guidance on the criteria for submitting an abstract, which you are welcome to view; this is the same criteria that you will use as a reviewer to decide whether to accept or reject an abstract.


The following criteria must be met in order to nominate yourself for membership of the ISAP
i) You must have successfully submitted an abstract to an international conference
ii) You must have had an article accepted in a peer review journal
iii) You must be available to review abstracts between 9 – 16 March 2021.


As an ISAP member, you will be acknowledged in the conference programme and on the official conference website in recognition of your contribution.
Reviewers also contribute to the academic development of the profession by providing constructive feedback to the authors.


To allow you to make an informed choice as to whether you will be in a position to complete the reviewing, the following dates have been confirmed. 

November 2020 ISAP reviewer sign up goes live. You will be able to register as an ISAP member right up until the close of abstract submissions.
5 March 2021   Deadline to register as an ISAP member 
9 March 2021   Abstracts will be allocated to members of the ISAP. You will be requested to review approximately 10-15 abstracts online. 
16 March 2021   The online reviews must then be completed by this date. 
In order to ensure that the abstracts you review fall within your sphere of expertise and interest, when you register with the system you will be requested to indicate your areas expertise using keywords provided. This whole process will be managed electronically.

Are you engaged in research with relevance to contemporary nursing or social care?

Does your research:

• address current issues in nursing and demonstrate impact
• demonstrate innovative methodology
• debate developments in research methods
• demonstrate best practice in research management and research policy

The RCN International Nursing Research Conference is recognised as a leading event for healthcare professionals and academics involved or interested in research relevant to nursing.

By submitting and presenting an abstract you will benefit from:

• showcasing your work and your employer on an international platform
• debating the challenges at the heart of future nursing practice
• having your research recognised by your peers and receiving a constructive review
• sharing knowledge and innovation in research methods, management and policy
• the stimulation of sharing innovative methodological papers

You can be confident that papers are reviewed with rigour and the programme designed to create a high quality forum in which to reflect on work, participate in networking events and discuss innovation in research.

Who can present?

If you are passionate about the future of nursing related research, how it can influence the resolution of future nursing challenges or advance nursing practice we want to hear from you!

We welcome national and international submissions from healthcare educators working in the academic, clinical and professional setting. First time or experienced presenters are welcome to submit including Students who wish to pursue a career in nursing education or research.  The conference is open to RCN members and non-members.


The community involved in research related to nursing encompasses academics, nurse researchers, government departments, nurses involved in research projects and students in all healthcare settings across the world. Attending this conference provides a quality assured opportunity to improve nursing practice, learn, network and contribute towards meeting the challenges facing the future nursing workforce. 

The benefits of attending include: 

• accruing up to 27 hours of continuing professional development - for UK nurses CPD counts towards your revalidation 
• hear how research is addressing contemporary nursing issues from leading keynote speakers 
• consider colleagues' research, how you can use their findings to inform yours and colleagues' nursing practice 
• learn about cutting edge innovation in research methods, policy and management 

Need a helping hand with securing time off or funding to attend? Please download these helpful hints and tips as well as a template letter you can use. 

And here are the top 5 reasons everyone should attend a conference for their professional development.

Is this conference for me? 

It will be of particular interest to all current and aspiring nurses, and colleagues in related disciplines, involved in the development and use of knowledge that impacts on nursing practice or the context in which nurses’ practice.

You can attend this conference as a presenting or as a non-presenting delegate.

The conference provides the opportunity to:

• Hear from inspirational keynote speakers and researchers on the latest research and how it is impacting on nursing
• Share and learn about innovations in research methodology 
• Showcase your research and your employer on an international stage 
• Engage in supportive and constructive critical debate 
• Discuss and debate the impact of research on health and social care policy and nursing practice 
• Network with like-minded colleagues – from those starting out in their careers through to distinguished keynote speakers 
• Build new alliances and make new contacts 
• Judge poster presentations – every vote counts 
• Participate in a lively social programme 
• Evaluate the event and contribute to future conference developments 
• Contribute to your Continuing Professional Development and Revalidation requirements 

Delegates can be confident that papers are reviewed with rigour and the programme is designed to create a high quality forum in which to reflect on work, participate in networking events and discuss innovation in research. 


A unique opportunity for an early career researcher!

The RCN annual international nursing research conference scientific committee is responsible for managing the process of abstract selection and preparing the scientific content of the conference programme. Professor Bridie Kent, Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2021 conference is offering a development opportunity for an early career researcher to join the scientific committee and is now inviting applications.

To be eligible, you must be:

• A member of the Royal College of Nursing Research Society 
• Currently registered on a doctoral programme 
• Able to review abstracts (between the 9-16 March 2021) - this is an online process and does not involve attendance 
• Able to attend the scientific committee meeting in London (2 days, 23 and 24 March 2021). Travel and overnight accommodation will be provided 
• Able to attend the conference itself (7 - 9 September 2021, Bristol) 

To apply

You must submit a short CV (include your RCN membership number) and a statement (200 words) outlining what you would bring to this role.

You must also provide a supporting statement from your research supervisor, indicating that your institution will support your attendance at the conference in full (that is, cover your conference fees, travel and accommodation costs), should you be successful.

Please send your submission for the attention of Prof. Bridie Kent to research@rcn.org.uk by Friday 12 February 2021.


If you'd like to discuss this opportunity in more detail please contact Prof Bridie Kent directly via email to arrange a short telephone call; bridie.kent@plymouth.ac.uk


Testimonial from 2019's Early Career Researcher - Rachel King.

"Having just passed my PhD viva, I was delighted to be accepted as the early career researcher (ECR) member of the scientific committee for the 2019 RCN international conference, hosted by my home city of Sheffield. 

After reviewing several abstracts, I was invited to join the committee in London, in April, for a 2 -day planning event. The committee members were incredibly welcoming and taught me a lot about conference planning. 

I felt very privileged to undertake a number of roles at the conference. In addition to presenting my PhD study, I chaired a session, led a poster tour, and organised an ECR networking event at a local pub (a great end to a busy day!). The conference provided fantastic opportunities to develop both organisational and presentation skills, and to meet a range of inspirational academics.

The other members of the scientific committee were supportive throughout the whole process which made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I would highly recommend anyone interested in applying for this position at the next conference to bite the bullet and go for it!"


We are delighted to confirm that the RCN Students in Partnership Scheme will be running again in 2021. 

To help pre-registration nursing students gain experience of presenting professional nursing knowledge, the RCN is offering one discretionary funded place at this conference to a student who is an RCN member and who submits an abstract which is accepted for presentation. The student will be supported to attend on the day they are presenting.

The top scoring abstract submission from a pre-registration student will be supported with the costs of their travel, accommodation and registration up to a maximum of £300.

Please contact research@rcn.org.uk if you have any queries regarding this funding opportunity.

Please note bookings will open in the coming weeks.



RCN Member
Non- RCN Member
1 Day fee £225.00 £45.00 £270.00 £291.00 £58.20 £349.20
2 Day fee £300.00 £60.00 £360.00 £388.00 £77.60 £465.60
3 Day fee £375.00 £75.00 £450.00 £485.00 £97.00 £582.00
Presenter rate (3 day access) £315.00 £63.00 £378.00 £410.00 £82.00 £492.00
Pre-reg student, Retired, health practitioner (1 day / 40% discount) N/A N/A N/A
Pre-reg student, Retired, health practitioner (2 day / 40% discount) N/A N/A N/A
Pre-reg student, Retired, health practitioner (3 day / 40% discount) £225.00 £45.00 £270.00
RCN representatives, forum steering committee (1 day / 25% discount) N/A N/A N/A
RCN representatives, forum steering committee (2 day / 25% discount) N/A N/A N/A
RCN representatives, forum steering committee (3 day / 25% discount) £281.25 £56.25 £337.50


Conditions and exclusions

  • Sharing of a multi-day conference pass between two or more delegates is not permitted.  Only delegates that have registered their details through the RCN's events registration system will be granted access.
  • International delegates that book for a multi day conferences qualify for the RCN member rate. An international delegate is classed as someone living and travelling from outside of the UK at the point of booking.
  • 10% group discount is applicable on 3 or more conference places and will only be applied to places where the maximum number of conference days have been booked.
  • Discount offers cannot be combined. Only one discount can be used for each booking whether it is an individual or group booking. 
  • Discounts apply to conference fees only and are not available on the presenter rate.
  • Member: Pre-reg student, retired, health practitioner  (40% discount) - this discount is strictly for RCN members and only available on the maximum number of conference days that can be booked.
  • Only students that are enrolled in a pre-registration nursing programme will qualify for a 40% discount
  • The RCN representative 25% discount is only available on the maximum number of conference days that can be booked.
  • Max of 2 presenter rate places for any concurrent, poster and ViPER





This conference and exhibition is an unrivalled opportunity for you to connect directly with nurses from across the UK and beyond.

There are a number of ways you can get involved, from networking to raise your profile to tailored commercial packages to help achieve specific objectives. Please contact the exhibitions team on 02076473959 or email exhibitions@rcn.org.uk

If you have a query relating to call for abstracts, the student in partnership scheme or a general enquiry regarding the Research Conference 2021, please use the contact details below:


  • Research Conference enquiries

Email: Research@rcn.org.uk 

Tel:+44 (0)20 7647 3578


  • Event Organiser - Melissa Askam

Email: Melissa.askam@rcn.org.uk 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7647 3595


Page last updated - 17/11/2020