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RCN highlights

News and updates from the RCN

Highlights of the latest RCN publications, policies, events and consultations relating to quality and safety.

The latest news from the RCN on professional issues including publications, policy briefings, events and NICE consultations.

RCN Highlights


Safe nurse staffing campaign in England kicks off with collaborative event

Members come together to share ideas on how to secure a new law. The first in a series of meetings to start the RCN’s campaign for a safe nurse staffing law in England takes place in London today. The event, which brings together RCN members, reps and staff from each of the country’s nine regions, will see nursing staff shape every aspect of the campaign.


Online grooming

While 21st century technology can expand young people’s horizons, it also places them at risk. And when school nurses meet for their annual RCN conference in August, they will be encouraged to reflect on their role in preventing and identifying cases of online grooming.


RCN backs campaign to protect young people from online harm

Social media companies should have a legal duty of care to safeguard children. The RCN has joined the Royal College of Psychologists and Royal College of Physicians to support a Daily Telegraph campaign to protect children using social media. The campaign calls on social media companies to sign up to a statutory duty of care.


Worst A&E waiting times must be a wake-up call on staffing levels

Patients are paying the price for the lack of staff and overcrowding in A&E departments. The NHS Combined Performance Summary shows A&E waiting times in England have reached their worst level since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004. In January only 84.4% of patients who attended A&E were treated or admitted in four hours which is well below the threshold of 95%.


Nursing degree applications down 30% since bursary axed

Despite a small increase on last year, the latest figures from UCAS show nursing degree applications in England have fallen by 13,000 since 2016. The RCN has warned that the NHS Long Term Plan won’t have a chance to succeed if the decline in student nurse applications isn’t reversed. The College is urging the Government to invest at least £1bn a year in nurse higher education in England to overturn the trend.


Members to play crucial role in securing safe nurse staffing law

Nursing staff will shape every aspect of the RCN’s campaign for legislation in England. The RCN is campaigning for nurse staffing for safe and effective care to be enshrined in law across all four countries of the UK. In England, members are gearing up to take a central role in the campaign with members and staff from the country’s nine regions meeting next week to decide what they want legislation to achieve.


Campaign with us

Use your voice to demand change for nursing. Our campaigning work has resulted in real change to the lives of nursing staff across the UK and their patients. We couldn't do it all without the thousands of members who've added their voice. Together, we make change happen.


Hard-hitting issues set to be debated at RCN Congress

Prostitution, child poverty and loneliness among the debates on this year’s agenda. Members attending this year’s RCN Congress in Liverpool will vote on a number of important resolutions that will look to improve health and life chances for many vulnerable people. The resolutions proposed include lobbying governments across the UK to decriminalise prostitution, end period poverty and invest resources to deal with rising child poverty.


Protecting children and young people: new RCN guidance

Nursing staff can now access updated guidance on keeping children and young people safe and recognising those at risk of harm. The document, published by the RCN alongside 20 other health organisations, includes vital updates in legislation in England as well as case studies, research and serious case reviews.


RCN Magazines

Latest news includes: Nursing degree applications down 30% since bursary axed; Members to play crucial role in securing safe nurse staffing law; Hard-hitting issues set to be debated at RCN Congress; Protecting children and young people: new RCN guidance; Nursing associates join the NMC register and Jersey strike ballot one step closer.


RCN blogs

The latest blogs include: Members driving force in campaign for safe and effective care; Welcoming nursing associates into the RCN family; Cold, snow and plunging temperatures in the South West and Message to nursing staff in Ireland.


RCN Library

The Wandering Womb: Women’s health nursing past and present

Women have long been viewed as at the mercy of their biology. How has nursing as a profession challenged the myths and misconceptions around women's health? This exhibition explores themes including menstruation, miscarriage, menopause and gynaecological cancers.


Practice Based Learning workshops

Free RCN workshops. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is introducing new standards for education and training. This sets out the skills and knowledge that the next generation of nurses will need to deliver safe care. We want to ensure that all nursing staff understand the new standards, changes to practice-based learning and what is expected of them. You can find out more by attending one of our free workshops, taking place across the United Kingdom from January to March 2019.


ExpertTeas: Thinking of doing a Nursing PhD?

27 Feb 2019 14:00 - 16:00 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G ORN. Nurse Dr Dawne Garrett, RCN Professional Lead for Care of Older People, achieved her PhD with the University of Hull in 2018. She will talk you through the process of doing a PhD. Drop in to ask your questions whether it is about the ideas stage, funding bids, undertaking your research, writing your thesis, preparing for your viva – or anything else PhD related. Tea and scones will be available.

RCN Library & Archives

Emotions and Team-Working in the Hospital

Thu, 7 March 2019, 09:00 – 17:30, 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G ORN. Organised by the Royal College of Nursing and the Surgery & Emotion project, this one-day workshop will explore the emotional aspects of team-working in the NHS. The day will bring together different members of the NHS workforce including nurses, surgeons, operating department practitioners, anaesthetists, physicians, and junior doctors. Its primary focus is surgical team-working but it will also consider more broadly the pressures facing those who work in hospitals and other healthcare settings.


Leadership in nursing education: facing challenges, creating opportunities

12 March 2019, Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, Broad Street, Bristol, BS1 2EL, 8.15am to 4.45pm. This conference will support you as a health care educator. Learn about the latest developments in nursing education and practice, share good practice through facilitated discussions and network with colleagues from across the UK.


Fertility treatment: How far should we go?

07 Feb 2019 17:00 - 19:00. 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G ORN. In 1978, Louise Brown made history by being the first baby born after in vitro fertilisation (IVF). IVF is now an established method of treatment for infertility, yet debates around access continue. Jane Denton, Director of the Multiple Births Foundation, chairs a panel discussion exploring the introduction of IVF and concerns arising from it. Kay Elder gives a personal perspective from her role in the early years of the first IVF programme, while Jane Stewart, Chair of the British Fertility Society, explores the question: “Does everyone have the right to fertility treatment on the NHS?” Doors open at 5pm. Talk starts at 5:30.


RCN Looked after children’s nurses conference

29 Apr 2019 09:00 - 16:30, Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G 0RN. “As well as being able to network and find out the latest health news in this field, this event provides an opportunity to discuss professional issues affecting LAC Nurses and teams across the UK. By working with attendees we will have an opportunity to influence change” - Karen Hughes, Chair of the RCN LAC Community.


The RCN International Nursing Research Conference 2019

3 September 2019, 9am to 5pm, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB. Save the date and attend the RCN International Research Conference 2019. Sheffield Hallam University will be home to this prestigious three day event which will once again welcome hundreds of nurses and researchers from around the world to present, debate and hear about advances in nursing research and its impact on health, health and social care and nursing practice.

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