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Northern Ireland Assembly election 2022

This Assembly election gives the people of Northern Ireland the chance to send a clear message to politicians about the importance of focusing on health and social care.

As the largest workforce group within this system, nursing has a leading role to play in rebuilding services and targeting health inequalities. In order to enable nurses to fulfil this role, politicians and policy-makers must stop viewing nursing as a cost to be controlled and see it instead as an asset to be valued and supported. During the course of the election campaign, the RCN will be highlighting ways in which this can be done.


The crisis in our health and social care system has many underlying causes but is rooted more than anything in the fact that there are not enough nursing staff to provide the right level of care for the people of Northern Ireland. The greatest challenge for the next Assembly and Executive is to deliver a nursing workforce capable of meeting the health care needs of our people and our communities. If we don’t act now, the consequences will be unimaginable.


To our members, we implore you to use your voice in this election. Nurses’ votes will be crucial in determining the outcome, so please make sure that you have your say. To our politicians, we ask you to reflect on the issues set out in the RCN manifesto, listen to the voice of nursing, and make sure that you deliver for nursing staff and the people of Northern Ireland. In that way, we can all work together to build a health and social care system of which we - and the people we are all here to serve - can be proud.

9 blog posts
  • Cherith Rogers Cherith Rogers 24 Apr 2022

    Support nursing in the independent sector

    The people of Northern Ireland are entitled to expect to receive nursing care that is high quality, and safe and appropriate for their needs, regardless of whether this is in hospitals, health centres, community services, nursing homes or their own home. 

  • Denise Kelly Denise Kelly 18 Apr 2022

    Fair pay for nursing

    All nursing staff deserve to be recognised for the skill and expertise they demonstrate every day. They must be fairly rewarded for the job they do. 

  • Paul McAleer Paul McAleer 12 Apr 2022

    Please make sure that you use your vote on 5 May 2022

    According to the latest figures published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the number of nurses on the professional register with an address in Northern Ireland stood at 24,690 in September 2021. 

  • Briege Quinn Briege Quinn 11 Apr 2022

    Improving mental health and well-being

    With significant demand for services and high levels of vacancies in the nursing workforce, mental health services were under significant strain before the pandemic. 

  • Andrew Doherty Andrew Doherty 10 Apr 2022

    Promoting flexible working to enhance nursing retention

    The RCN manifesto for the Northern Ireland Assembly election calls for a clear commitment by all health and social employers to facilitate greater flexible working opportunities to help improve nursing workforce recruitment and retention.

  • Maureen Dolan Maureen Dolan 6 Apr 2022

    Tackling violence and aggression against nursing staff

    Violence and aggression against nursing staff is a problem that existed before the pandemic. However, reports from RCN members confirm that these concerns have grown over the last two years. 

  • Fiona Devlin Fiona Devlin 6 Apr 2022

    Listen to the voice of nursing

    Northern Ireland enters this Assembly election in the midst of yet another political crisis.

  • Edna Grant Edna Grant 6 Apr 2022

    Support our community nursing teams

    Health and social care transformation began eleven years ago but very little progress has been made in delivering its key objective of enabling people, when appropriate, to receive care in their homes and communities instead of in hospitals.

  • Ruth Thompson Ruth Thompson 6 Apr 2022

    Nurse staffing for safe and effective care

    As the RCN manifesto for the Northern Ireland Assembly election explains, there are, quite simply, not enough nurses to provide the care that the people of Northern Ireland require and that they should be able to expect. Nursing shortages affect our hospitals, community health services and nursing homes.

Page last updated - 12/04/2022